Exploring the Socio-cultural Barriers to Girls’ Education: A Qualitative Study of Parents’ Perspective of School Dropout of Girls of South Punjab


  • Sadia Jabeen Virtual University of Pakistan
  • Sonia Omer University of Punjab
  • Asma Zafar Virtual University of Pakistan


Socio-cultural Barriers , Girls’ Education , Rural , South Punjab , Gender Equality


Gender equality is the priority of any nation that makes progress in the social and economic spheres of life. Despite efforts by the government and non-government organizations, Pakistan has been unable to achieve gender equity, and gaps in girls’ education are one of the significant reasons. The current study has aimed to investigate the social and cultural constraints of female higher education in the South of Punjab, Pakistan. The qualitative research has deeply investigated parents’ perspectives on girls’ higher education in the southern Punjab districts of Rajun Pur and Dera Ghazi Khan. Focus group discussions were used to collect data to understand parents’ perspectives on their daughters not pursuing higher education. Thematic analysis was used to obtain the research findings. The study findings revealed certain socio-cultural factors as hurdles in the way of higher education for girls, including early puberty, son preferences, poor economic status of parents, early marriages of girls, non-acceptance of co-education, lack of decision-making by girls, cultural restriction, and a particular mind set on employment of women as primary factors behind girls’ lower enrollment in higher education. The study recommends that states focus on girls’ education through strict legislation and create awareness through communication, particularly with the help of non-government organizations.


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How to Cite

Jabeen, S. ., Omer, S. ., & Zafar, A. . (2024). Exploring the Socio-cultural Barriers to Girls’ Education: A Qualitative Study of Parents’ Perspective of School Dropout of Girls of South Punjab. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies, 24(1), 216–233. Retrieved from https://socialsciencejournals.pjgs-ws.com/index.php/PJGS/article/view/723