Religious Factors Influencing Denial of Female Higher Education in Pakhtun Society
The current study aims at investigating the influence of religious factors on the denial of women higher education in Pakhtun society. The study was conducted in two higher education institutions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa i.e. Bacha Khan University Charsadda and University of Malakand. A positivistic stance was adopted to conduct this study using questionnaire as tool of data collection. Data was collected from 200 female students of these institutions to know about their perception on religious aspects of their life and denial to their rights of higher education. . A Chi square test was used to measure association between religious factors and denial of women right to higher education. The study revealed a significant association of different religious factors such as priority of culture over religion, less support from religious clerics, female lack of awareness about religious education with denial of female access to higher education. The study concluded that importance of culture in comparison to religion, women’s lack of awareness regarding female education, misinterpretation of religious texts against co-education and less support of religious clerics are the key factors associated with denial of women right to higher education. Religious scholars should speak for women’s right to education, women awareness of their religious right to education, a clear cut line of demarcation between cultural tenets and Islamic practices and establishment of separate institutions for both male and female were some of the recommendations forwarded in the light of study findings.