ROLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS TO ACCOMPLISH WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER EQUALITY IN PAKISTAN
The present study aims at investigating and explore the role of higher education institute regarding gender equality and women empowerment in lower Punjab. The constitution of our country laid down the rights of both genders in terms of their social, economic, educational, and moral development. This is also ensured to safeguard the constitutional guarantees for each citizen at any cost. These constitutional rights include reserved seats for admission in universities, and also a separate quota of jobs in various departments to balance gender. “But despite all these guarantees practically girl’s students continue to lag behind in educational achievement and access, especially at the colleges and University levels, where girls’ enrollment, completion of the degree, and achievement of the jobs are lower than boys. Girls are less in number in government jobs and enrollment in schools, colleges, and universities, but higher education institutions can play a vital role in gender equality and women empowerment. Improving girls‟ access to education, with the goal of attaining gender equality, is a critical component of promoting development and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Pakistan, Particularly, in the rural and suburban areas, the girls attend higher education institutions in small numbers. But the education of this segment will increase the ability of women to secure employment in the government or the private sector. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of higher education institutions in attaining gender equality and women’s empowerment in south Punjab. The target population was the three universities of south Punjab. Data were gathered through a questionnaire by female students of these three higher education institutions to achieve Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Southern Punjab 2) To know the gender equality practices used by university teachers of higher education institutes of southern Punjab.3) To investigate the challenges confronted by the girl’s students at universities during learning. Participants were more or less agreed that women have to face socio cultural hurdles to acquire education and pursue careers. The results reveal that higher education institutions in play a positive role in gender equality and women empowerment. It can be said that higher education institutions succeeded in closing the gap between males and females in access to higher education”. However, gender parity in the distribution of student enrollments in different Disciplines, equality in jobs, and economic empowerment of women is not achieved yet.