Ayesha Masood

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Arizona State U.

Grant number

Gr. 9282

Approve Date

April 18, 2016

Project Title

Masood, Ayesha, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Doctor in the House: A Study of Career Experiences of Women Doctors of Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Takeyuki Tsuda

AYESHA MASOOD, then a graduate student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received funding in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Doctor in the House: A Study of Career Experiences of Women Doctors of Pakistan,’ supervised by Dr. Takeyuki Tsuda. Under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers is a global problem. Despite multiple policy interventions, social and institutional barriers to women’s participation, retention and success in STEM careers still persist. Women in Pakistan are a minority in the education and career of all STEM fields except medicine where, paradoxically, women medical students and graduates overwhelmingly outnumber men. Yet, this increase in number of graduates has not translated into a concomitant rise in practicing women doctors. This paradox raises important questions related to evolving gender relations in Pakistani society. By focusing on the lived expereinces of women doctors, this project indicates the need to contextualize the ideas like empowerment, justice and freedom. The tropes of education and participation in labor force, often deployed in development projects as empowering for women, are critically anlyzed. Equating participation in paid work with emancipation leads to a gendered construction of work as it renders invisible the unpaid work that women doctors do as women and as doctors. This analysis significantly contributes to our understanding of how various types of work are socially valued, and how a better understanding of work can lead to more equitable social policies.