Gender inequality and academic freedom in Pakistani higher education

Fakhr, Zainab and Messenger, Hazel (2020) Gender inequality and academic freedom in Pakistani higher education. In: Faculty and Student Research in Practicing Academic Freedom. Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning (31). Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 67-84. ISBN 9781839827013


Academic freedom and the right to express one’s views in higher education (HE) are important for faculty and students alike, so enabling intellectual integrity and professional autonomy. However, this might not be the case for female academics in countries where females are marginalised, and their opinions are dominated and limited by the society and culture. Gender inequality and how it negatively influences the opportunities available for females to progress is a universal issue; however, although initiatives designed to tackle this problem are being seen to result in gradual improvement internationally, particularly in industrial countries, the situation in developing countries remains a concern. In developing countries, women tend to be either absent from many organisations or exist at the margins of organisational life with the result that they have fewer opportunities for development or career progression. This has a negative impact on the growth and development of a country at national level, particularly when there has been investment in female education from an earlier stage. It would seem that this certainly is the case in Pakistan where cultural norms intertwine with organisational politics thus militating against female employees. The experiences and issues discussed in this chapter highlight the social barriers faced by female academics in HE that have a significant impact on their academic freedom and expression.

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BK-EMP-IHETL_V31-200137-FM.pdf - Accepted Version

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