Financial Misgivings of Married Working Women in Lahore

  • Shehzadi Zammurad Awan


In Pakistan, the financial issues of married working women are rarely discussed. There is an absence of literature on the subject. Nevertheless, the social sciences literature has been debating financial aspect of gender, either from the perspective of employer or employee; ignoring the working women’s reservations regarding their financial contribution in their marital life, particularly with reference to spouse and in-laws expectations. This issue becomes more acute when it comes to patriarchal conservative developing societies. This study is a delicate attempt to understand the magnitude of financial support of Pakistani married working women for spouse and in-laws, in the city of Lahore. In routine, the husband as well as the in-laws expect that a working wife should surrender her income, in entirety or partially towards the household budget, thus taking the financial responsibility of her spouse along with his extended family. Such financial misgivings create tensions and pressure for the already burdened woman having a disadvantaged status. In certain cases, the contribution is by free will of the wife, as well. This research will make an attempt through a survey with 50 married working women of different social classes, residing in Lahore. The purpose is to understand the rationale of approval or disapproval of this practice. Refusal for cooperation often create problems for the earning woman, even at the risk of separation or divorce, or at the least, tensions in the married life. At the end, the study will debate over possible adjustments and compromises, which could reduce tense situation for the married working woman, and at the same time maintaining her financial independence.