Feminist Movements Leading towards Emancipation or Alienation: Case Study of Pakistan

Article Title: Feminist Movements Leading towards Emancipation or Alienation: Case Study of Pakistan

Author(s): Noor Ul Ain

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, Foundation University Rawalpindi Campus (FURC)

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2016, Vol. 14, No.2, 26-32

Correspondence Address: Noor Ul Ain, Department of Psychology, Foundation University Rawalpindi Campus, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; e-mail: noor_ann989@hotmail.com


The present study explores how people in Pakistan perceive the role played by feminists in Pakistani society, and understand the implications of feminist movements. The data were collected using an interview protocol. The sample consisted of 40 university professors and lecturers, with an equal proportion of men and women. They were recruited from various departments of public and private sector universities in Rawalpindi and Islamabad using purposive and convenience sampling. An idiographic approach was used to analyze the data. The findings of the study suggest that despite numerous advantages attained from feminist movements − in the form of greater awareness of important issues and the availability of a platform to address them − in that particular culture, most of the respondents believe that feminists are alienating women rather than empowering women. It is maintained that unless gender issues are examined under the lenses colored by one‟s own traditions and specific values, the benefits sought by the advocates and followers of these movements would be very limited. Class, customs and religion are all an essential part of the criteria used in understanding the status, role and struggles of women in a particular society. Thus, the goals and strategies of mainstream feminism should be adapted according to indigenous needs. By acknowledging the difference of class, culture and religion, feminists can avoid marginalizing and alienating women from the social order they are a part of.

Keywords: Feminism, feminist movements, emancipation, alienation, Pakistan

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