The study of sex-roles in agriculture and their integration in the rural development processes is a fairly new subject in South Asian geography. In Pakistan such studies are even more recent, because of the segregation of the sexes and Islamic culture in Pakistan. Instead of making women do hard or tiresome work in agricultural fields, Pakistan society treats its women as 'cultural bourgeoises', circumspect, decorous, and bearers of the family honor. For those who do work, a slight improvement in economic or social status restricts them from agricultural work, a process called by some 'negative modernization'. U.S. AID and other agencies are trying hard to change the prevalent patterns in Pakistan, but cultural, structural, and political factors are too old and strong to change quickly. This paper reviews the sociocultural status of women, and their role in agricultural operations. Examples are from Sind and Panjab provinces, the agricultural heartland of Pakistan. © 1987.
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