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Research Article

EEO. 2020; 19(4): 2651-2659

Perspectives of School Dropouts and Contextualising Girls Experience (An Ethnographic Study of Female Education in Rural Pakistan)

Dr. Abdul Razaque Channa, Dr. Tayyaba Batool Tahir, Imtiaz Ali Seelro.


The research explores the paradoxes prevailing within the education system of Sindh province in Pakistan. The occurrence of greater early female student dropout despite government and non-governmental organizations' efforts to meet the country's educational target. Gender disparity in primary schools is at a worse level even though the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, national education policies, and international commitments ensure girls'equal right to education. Based on ethnographic fieldwork of primary schools in rural Sindh, this paper analyses the gender relationships with female education and dropout issues by using Foucault's theoretical concepts of discourse, power, and gaze (Foucault 1980).
The dropout proportion of girls from schools is a consequence of intricate power relations between genders in Pakistan. The male exercises intense surveillance in subjugating the female, depriving them of their fundamental right to education. These tactics are reflected in two ways. First, females, when they step out of their homes, are under constant gaze of unknown males in Pakistani culture. Female requires permission from her father/brothers to seek education. She is followed by the male gaze to school and back. The male family members decide her educational level, marriage, and domestic roles and responsibilities, ultimately affecting her schooling. Second, in school, she learns in a gendered environment where teachers, school administration, and non-teaching staff members are males.1They stereotype her as a member of the weak gender and prefer male students over her during school activities like student council elections, seating arrangements, attendance, co-curriculum activities, and sports.

Key words: Female education, school dropout, gaze, power, discourse, Pakistan

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