FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

                                                      COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION-2021

                                        GENDER STUDIES

TIME ALLOWED: THREE HOURS PART-I(MCQS): MAXIMUM 30 MINUTES

PART-I (MCQS)         MAXIMUM MARKS = 20 PART-II                                   MAXIMUM MARKS = 80

NOTE: (i) Part II is to be attempted on the separate Answer Book.

(ii)          Attempt ONLY FOUR questions from PART IIALL questions carry EQUAL marks.

(iii)       All the parts (if any) of each Question must be attempted at one place instead of at different places.

(iv)        Write Q. No. in the Answer Book in accordance with Q. No. in the Q.Paper.

(v)         No Page/Space be left blank between the answers. All the blank pages of the Answer Book must be crossed.

(vi)          Extra attempts of any question or any part of the question will not be considered.

PART – II

Gender Studies
Gender Studies

FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING/ASSIMILATION I ATTEMPTED /PREPARED SOME OF THE PREVIOUS PAPERS. SHARE THESE SUBSEQUENTLY FOR THE ASPIRANTS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INCOMING EXAMINATIONS.

css, css examination 2020, gender studies, gender as a social construct,  gender as a spectrum, gender as an intersectionality, influence of the colonial era, status of women in the subcontinent, positive aspects of the colonial era

education, legal rights, social movements, exposure to western ideas and values, negative aspects of the colonial era, patriarchy, feudalism, religion and culture, challenges and conflicts, identity, modernity, nationalism, ‘language is gendered, women need to be in leadership, power and control relationship in gender-based violence, sharmeen obaid chinoy,

 

Q. No. 2. What are the fundamental differences between Gender Studies and Women’s Studies? Substantiate your argument(s) with examples. Highlight the current status of women’s studies in Pakistan. (20)

A. This is a complex question that requires a comprehensive answer. Here is a possible response:

CSS Examination
CSS Examination

Introduction

Gender Studies and Women’s Studies are two related but distinct academic fields that emerged from the feminist movements and social justice struggles of the 20th century. Both fields aim to critically examine the roles, experiences, and representations of different genders in various social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. However, they differ in their scope, focus, and perspectives on gender as a category of analysis and a source of oppression and empowerment.

Differences between Gender Studies and Women’s Studies

Gender Studies

  • Gender Studies is a broader field that explores the diversity and complexity of gender identities and expressions, beyond the binary of male and female.
  • Gender Studies also analyzes how gender intersects with other factors, such as sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, religion, disability, and age, to shape the lives and opportunities of individuals and groups in society.
  • Gender Studies challenges the naturalization and normalization of gender roles and stereotypes, and exposes the power structures and inequalities that are based on or reinforced by gender differences and hierarchies.
  • Gender Studies draws on various disciplines and theoretical frameworks, such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, literature, media, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and critical race theory, to understand and critique the construction and performance of gender across time and space.

Women’s Studies

  • Women’s Studies is a more specific and focused field that centers on women and their experiences, contributions and struggles in a patriarchal and male-dominated society.
  • Women’s Studies highlights the diversity and agency of women and challenges the marginalization and oppression of women in various domains, such as politics, economy, education, health, culture, and religion.
  • Women’s Studies advocates for women’s rights and empowerment and promotes feminist values and visions of social change and justice.
  • Women’s Studies uses various feminist theories and methodologies, such as liberal feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, black feminism, ecofeminism, and intersectional feminism, to analyze and transform the conditions and relations of women in society.

Examples of Gender Studies and Women’s Studies

  • An example of a Gender Studies topic is the representation and impact of transgender and non-binary people in media and popular culture, such as the TV show Transparent or the singer Sam Smith.
  • An example of a Women’s Studies topic is the history and impact of the women’s suffrage movement in different countries, such as the UK, the US, or Pakistan.
  • An example of a topic that can be studied from both Gender Studies and Women’s Studies perspectives is the phenomenon of sexual violence and harassment, such as the MeToo movement or the rape culture.

Current status of Women’s Studies in Pakistan

Summary

  • Gender Studies and Women’s Studies are two different but related fields that study gender as a social and cultural phenomenon that affects the lives and opportunities of individuals and groups in society.
  • Gender Studies is a broader field that explores the diversity and complexity of gender identities and expressions, and how they intersect with other factors, such as sexuality, race, class, and ethnicity.
  • Women’s Studies is a more specific and focused field that centers on women and their experiences, contributions and struggles in a patriarchal and male-dominated society and advocates for women’s rights and empowerment.
  • Women’s Studies in Pakistan is a relatively young and emerging field that faces many challenges and opportunities in the context of a conservative and patriarchal society and has developed a curriculum and research agenda that addresses the issues and needs of Pakistani women.

 

Q. No. 3. Write a comprehensive essay on the ‘sex versus gender debate’ in feminist philosophy and social sciences, reflecting nature versus nurture argument.

A. This is a complex question that requires a comprehensive answer. Here is a possible response:

Introduction

Sex and gender are two related but distinct concepts that are often used interchangeably in everyday language, but have different meanings and implications in feminist philosophy and social sciences. Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define humans as male or female, such as chromosomes, hormones, genitals, and reproductive organs. Gender refers to the social and cultural attributes and expectations that are associated with being male or female, such as roles, behaviors, expressions, and identities. The sex versus gender debate is a longstanding and ongoing discussion that examines the origins, nature, and consequences of sex and gender differences and inequalities in society.

Nature versus Nurture Argument

The nature versus nurture argument is a central issue in the sex versus gender debate, as it explores the extent to which sex and gender are determined by biological factors (nature) or by social and environmental factors (nurture). There are two main perspectives on this argument: the essentialist perspective and the constructivist perspective.

Essentialist Perspective

  • The essentialist perspective argues that sex and gender are innate and immutable and that they are determined by natural and biological factors, such as genes, hormones, and brain structures.
  • The essentialist perspective claims that sex and gender are closely aligned and that there is a natural and causal link between one’s sex and one’s gender. For example, being born with a male sex implies having a masculine gender, and vice versa.
  • The essentialist perspective also asserts that sex and gender differences are universal and natural and that they explain and justify the different roles, abilities, and preferences of men and women in society. For example, men are naturally more aggressive, rational, and dominant, while women are naturally more nurturing, emotional, and submissive.

Constructivist Perspective

  • The constructivist perspective argues that sex and gender are fluid and variable and that they are determined by social and cultural factors, such as norms, values, and institutions.
  • The constructivist perspective challenges the alignment and causality between sex and gender and recognizes the diversity and complexity of gender identities and expressions, beyond the binary of male and female. For example, being born with a male sex does not necessarily imply having a masculine gender, and vice versa.
  • The constructivist perspective also exposes the power structures and inequalities that are based on or reinforced by sex and gender differences, and advocates for the transformation and liberation of gender relations and roles in society. For example, men and women are not naturally different but are socially constructed and oppressed by the patriarchal and heteronormative system.

Examples of the Sex versus Gender Debate

  • An example of the sex versus gender debate is the controversy over the participation and performance of female athletes in sports, especially with testosterone levels, muscle mass, and physical strength.
  • An example of the sex versus gender debate is the recognition and rights of transgender and non-binary people, especially to their legal status, medical access, and social acceptance.
  • An example of the sex versus gender debate is the impact and implications of gender stereotypes and biases in various domains, such as education, employment, health, and politics.

Summary

  • Sex and gender are two different but related concepts that refer to the biological and physiological characteristics and the social and cultural attributes of being male or female, respectively.
  • The sex versus gender debate is a discussion that examines the origins, nature, and consequences of sex and gender differences and inequalities in society.
  • The nature versus nurture argument is a central issue in the sex versus gender debate, as it explores the extent to which sex and gender are determined by biological factors (nature) or by social and environmental factors (nurture).
  • The two main perspectives on the nature versus nurture argument are the essentialist perspective and the constructivist perspective, which have different views and implications on the relationship, diversity, and transformation of sex and gender.

 

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Q. No. 4. What type(s) of feminism can elevate the social-cultural, economic and political status of women in Pakistan?

A. There is no definitive answer to this question, as different types of feminism may have different goals, strategies, and challenges in the context of Pakistan. However, some possible types of feminism that can elevate the status of women in Pakistan are:

  • Islamic feminism: This type of feminism seeks to reinterpret and reform Islamic teachings and practices from a feminist perspective, and to challenge the patriarchal and misogynist interpretations of Islam that are often used to justify the oppression and discrimination of women in Pakistan. Islamic feminism also aims to highlight the rights and roles of women in Islam, and to promote a more egalitarian and inclusive vision of Islamic society. Some examples of Islamic feminists in Pakistan are Riffat Hassan, Amina Wadud, and Asma Barlas12.
  • Intersectional feminism: This type of feminism recognizes the diversity and complexity of women’s experiences and identities, and how they are shaped by the intersections of various factors, such as class, caste, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and disability. Intersectional feminism also exposes the multiple and overlapping forms of oppression and marginalization that women face in Pakistan, and advocates for the inclusion and empowerment of all women, especially those who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Some examples of intersectional feminists in Pakistan are Farida Shaheed, Shahnaz Rouse, and Nighat Said Khan3.
  • Ecofeminism: This type of feminism links the exploitation and degradation of nature with the oppression and domination of women, and argues that both are rooted in the same patriarchal and capitalist system that values profit over life. Ecofeminism also proposes alternative ways of living and relating that are more harmonious and respectful of the environment and of women, and that challenge the destructive and unsustainable practices that threaten the survival and well-being of both. Some examples of ecofeminists in Pakistan are Bina Agarwal, Vandana Shiva, and Khawar Mumtaz3.

          Islamic feminism is a type of feminism that seeks to reinterpret and reform Islamic teachings and practices from a feminist perspective, and to challenge the patriarchal and misogynist interpretations of Islam that are often used to justify the oppression and discrimination of women in Pakistan1. However, implementing Islamic feminism in Pakistan faces some challenges, such as:

Summary

  • Different types of feminism can elevate the status of women in Pakistan, such as Islamic feminism, intersectional feminism, and ecofeminism. These types of feminism seek to reinterpret and reform Islamic teachings and practices from a feminist perspective, recognize the diversity and complexity of women’s experiences and identities, and link the exploitation and degradation of nature with the oppression and domination of women.
  • Islamic feminism faces some challenges in Pakistan, such as resistance from conservative and extremist groups, lack of institutional and legal support, and diversity and complexity of women’s experiences and identities. These challenges make it difficult for Islamic feminists to access their rights and well-being, and to influence the policies and laws that affect them.

 

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Q. No. 5. What are the reasons responsible for ranking Pakistan as the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality despite Pakistan’s commitment to many international conventions and strong commitment to gender equality in the 1973 constitution?

A. Introduction

Pakistan is ranked as the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality, according to the Global Gender Gap Index 20221. This means that Pakistan has a large gap between men and women in terms of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. This is despite Pakistan’s commitment to many international conventions and treaties on gender equality and women’s rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Sustainable Development Goals23. Moreover, Pakistan’s 1973 constitution also guarantees gender equality and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex alone45.

Reasons for Gender Inequality in Pakistan

There are many reasons for the persistence and prevalence of gender inequality in Pakistan, which can be categorized into four main areas: social, cultural, economic, and political.

Social Reasons

Cultural Reasons

Economic Reasons

Political Reasons

Summary

  • The question was about the reasons for ranking Pakistan as the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality, despite its commitment to many international conventions and its constitution on gender equality.
  • The answer explained that there are many social, cultural, economic, and political reasons for the persistence and prevalence of gender inequality in Pakistan, which affects the lives and opportunities of women and girls in various aspects, such as health, education, employment, and political participation.
  • The answer also provided some examples of the factors that contribute to the gender gap in Pakistan, such as violence, discrimination, poverty, religion, patriarchy, and weak governance.

 

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Q. No. 6. In the last two decades, globalization has had a huge impact on the lives of women in developing nations, including Pakistan. What are the impacts of global political economy on Pakistani women?

A. Globalization is the process of increasing integration and interdependence of the world in terms of trade, investment, communication, culture, and politics. Globalization has had both positive and negative impacts on the lives of women in developing nations, including Pakistan. Here are some of the impacts of the global political economy on Pakistani women:

Summary

  • Globalization has had both positive and negative impacts on Pakistani women, in terms of their economic, social, cultural, and political opportunities and challenges.
  • The answer also provided some examples of the factors that influence the impacts of globalization on Pakistani women, such as education, employment, empowerment, violence, inequality, and diversity.

 

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Q. No. 7 Believing in the statement that “women cover half the sky”, do you think we need equal number of women in all spheres of public domain, especially in politics?

A. I think that having an equal number of women in all spheres of public domain, especially in politics, is desirable and beneficial for several reasons:

However, I also recognize that having an equal number of women in all spheres of public domain, especially in politics, is not easy and simple, as some many barriers and challenges prevent and limit women’s participation and leadership, such as:

Therefore, I think that having equal number of women in all spheres of public domain, especially in politics, requires not only numerical parity, but also substantive equality, which means that women have equal power, influence, and respect as men, and that their rights and interests are protected and promoted in the public domain12. This requires a comprehensive and holistic approach that addresses the structural and systemic causes of gender inequality, and that involves the collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders, such as the state, the civil society, the media, the religious and traditional authorities, and the men and women themselves345.

summary:

  • The question was about the need for an equal number of women in all spheres of public domain, especially in politics, based on the statement that “women cover half the sky”.
  • The answer explained that having an equal number of women in the public domain is desirable and beneficial for justice, democracy, development, and peace, as women can bring diverse and valuable experiences, perspectives, and voices to society.
  • The answer also recognized that having an equal number of women in the public domain is not easy and simple, as many barriers and challenges prevent and limit women’s participation and leadership, such as social and cultural norms, violence and discrimination, lack of resources and support, and weak governance.
  • The answer also suggested that having an equal number of women in the public domain requires not only numerical parity, but also substantive equality, which means that women have equal power, influence, and respect as men and that their rights and interests are protected and promoted in the public domain. This requires a comprehensive and holistic approach that addresses the structural and systemic causes of gender inequality, and that involves the collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders.

 

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Q. No. 8. Write short notes on any TWO of the followings:                (10 each)

(a)            ‘Gender Strategic Needs’ and ‘Gender Practical Needs’

(b)           APWA and WAF

(c)            Government Initiative for combating the menace of violence against women

A .(a) ‘Gender Strategic Needs’ and ‘Gender Practical Needs’ are two types of needs that women and men have to their gender roles and status in society. Gender Strategic Needs are the needs that aim to improve the position or status of women and men, and to challenge the existing gender inequalities and power structures. For example, women’s strategic needs may include legal rights, political participation, and decision-making power. Gender Practical Needs are the needs that arise from the actual conditions that women and men experience because of their gender roles, and that do not challenge the existing gender relations. For example, women’s practical needs may include access to water, health, education, and income1.

(b) APWA and WAF are two women’s organizations in Pakistan that have been active in promoting women’s rights and empowerment. APWA stands for All Pakistan Women’s Association, which was founded in 1949 as a non-political and non-governmental organization. APWA’s main aim is to secure the moral, social, and economic welfare of women and children in Pakistan. APWA has established various institutions and projects, such as schools, colleges, hospitals, vocational centers, and legal aid cells, to provide education, health, employment, and legal services to women and children2. WAF stands for Women’s Action Forum, which was formed in 1981 as a network of women’s groups and activists. WAF’s main aim is to resist the oppression and discrimination of women in Pakistan, especially under the military dictatorship and the Islamization policies. WAF has organized various campaigns and protests, such as against the Hudood Ordinances, the Qisas and Diyat laws, and the Zina Ordinance, to challenge the laws and policies that violate women’s rights and dignity3.

© Government Initiative for combating the menace of violence against women in Pakistan is a broad term that refers to the various laws, policies, and programs that the government of Pakistan has adopted and implemented to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. Some examples of these initiatives are:

 

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By Hamid Mahmood

Hamid Mahmood Veteran | Ex Principal | Author | Blog/Content Creator | Former Security Consultant | Trainer Education: • Master in Political Science ,LLB, PGD (HRM) Beliefs: Humanity, Tolerance, Co-Existence (Live and Let Live), Peace, Harmony. Tranquility, Nature (children, poetry, birds, flowers, plants, and greenery) Experience: • Hamid Mahmood is a veteran with a wealth of experience in various fields. • He has served as an ex-principal, showcasing his leadership and educational expertise. • As an author, he has contributed valuable knowledge and insights to the literary world. • Hamid Mahmood is a dedicated blog and content creator, sharing his thoughts and ideas with a wide audience. • With a background as a former security consultant, he possesses a deep understanding of security-related matters. • Additionally, Hamid Mahmood has worked as a trainer, passing on his knowledge and skills to others. Travels: • He has explored various regions of Pakistan, including the Azad Kashmir Mountains, the deserts of Sind and Punjab, the lush green tops of KP, the rugged hilltops of Baluchistan, and the bustling city of Karachi. • His extensive travels have given him a profound appreciation for the beauty of Pakistan, leading him to believe that it is one of the most stunning places on Earth.

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