Search our Site

MEDA Publications

MEDA has a great variety of publications that you can download and read! Click through our library to see what's available!


Session 3 - Case Study: Integrating Women into Market Systems - Pakistan Home-Based Workers

Session 3 - Case Study: Integrating Women into Market Systems - Pakistan Home-Based Workers
The socio-cultural context of Pakistan is rooted in a strong patriarchal system in which the honor of the family rests heavily on the virtue of women. Decision making is traditionally the purview of the male head of family with limited participation by women. Traditionally, strict limits are set on the freedom of women to move beyond the home unaccompanied by a male relative. As a result, women, particularly those living in rural or peri-urban communities, face significant barriers to accessing basic education and health care, and in participating in economic activity beyond the home. For many Pakistani women, options are severely limited. As a girl she may be required to end her education early because she is needed in the home or the limited family resources are committed to the education of her brothers. As a young woman she moves within the protective circle of her family as a suitable marriage is arranged. She moves from the household of her father to that of her in-laws where she is frequently assigned the most burdensome chores. Her hope for power rests with her son. If he proves successful, she may be rewarded in her old age, served by an attentive daughter-in-law and surrounded by grandchildren.