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Why He Won’t Send His Daughter to School—Barriers to Girls’ Education in Northwest Pakistan: A Qualitative Delphi Study of Pashtun Men


Resistance to girls’ education in Pakistan has long been an intractable problem; the lowest enrolment figures are in Pashtun areas. This study focused on Pashtun men’s perceptions of girls’ education. Pashtun men of diverse backgrounds participated in a two-round Delphi exercise, followed by in-depth qualitative interviews in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. Although contradictory ideas from religion, culture, and politics were elicited, consensus developed on major barriers to girls’ access to education: poverty, Pashtunwali (tribal code), religion, accessibility, resources, shortage of female teachers, curriculum, and political apathy and corruption. Understanding the barriers to girls’ education could help development professionals overcome them.

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CC BY / CC BY-SA

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