Women Empowerment and IPRI’s Gender Equality Measure Case study: District Charsadda and Peshawar, Pakistan
Assistant Professor, Islamia College University, Peshawar
This paper examines the process of female empowerment in the context of International Property Rights Index’s gender equality component. Women constitute half of the population while their property rights practically remain non-existent in Pakistan. This study applies qualitative inquiry with 44 unstructured interviews, 71 semi-structured interviews, 5 content analysis, 3 non- participant observations, 2 biographical analysis, and13 focus group discussions eliciting descriptions of participants’ experiences in District Charsadda and Peshawar Pakistan. The three interlinked sub-processes of qualitative analysis of Miles and Huberman were combined with concept mapping technique as a methodology. The findings have implications for the conceptualization of empowerment process and suggest that secured property acts as both a means and an end for women’s empowerment. It suggests that secured property rights enhances the empowerment process, which includes legal, political, economic, social and psychic empowerment, in sequential steps, with real political empowerment as the final outcome. It is explored that limited mobility and social confinement create a disadvantage for women to access information and thus inhibiting their capacity to hold and use property in an efficient manner. The study suggests that ‘Access to Information’ should be an essential part of Gender Equality measures in developing countries to ensure effective women empowerment.
Keywords: Property, Women, Empowerment, Information, property rights