A STUDY TO ANALYSES THE CAUSES OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE AGAINST WORKING WOMEN IN PUNJAB PAKISTAN

Amjad Rehman Asghar, Dr. Yasir Nawaz Manj, Hassan Ali, Saif Ahmad Malik

1Department of Rural Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan.

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of Sargodha, Pakistan.

 

Abstract

Women in Pakistan live in a world, which is structured by strict religious, family and tribal customs. They are subjected to discrimination and violence on a daily basis. Pakistan’s interpretation of Islam views women as needing protection that ultimately results in their oppression physically, mentally and emotionally. Women in Pakistan are facing various forms of violence, discrimination and inequality in almost every aspect of life. Therefore, the present study is to analyses the causes of emotional abuse against working women: in Punjab, Pakistan. A cross sectional study was carried out both in private and public departments. Multistage sampling technique was used for the collection of data. A sample of 300 respondents was taken from 8 districts of two divisions of Punjab Faisalabad and Sargodha from both public and private sectors. The major objective of the study was to explore the socio-cultural and economic factors of emotional abuses among working women and to identify the reasons of emotional abuse among working women at work place. The study has found that the female who are doing jobs in government sector were facing more emotional abuse as compared to public sector.  The finding of the study 70% of the working women were in the opinion that culture is the responsible for the weaker position of the women. 74% of the working women were in the view that gender inequality is the base of low status of the women in a society. It is need to modify the behavior of male regarding women media can play a vital role in this regarding. The government should take necessary steps to make the legislation and suggest harsh punishment to the abusers.

Keywords: Emotional Abuse, Working Women, Socio-Cultural Values, Economic Aspect

Introduction

Women in Pakistan live in a world, which is structured by strict religious, family and tribal customs. They are subjected to discrimination and violence on a daily basis. Pakistan’s interpretation of Islam views women as needing protection that ultimately results in their oppression physically, mentally and emotionally. Women in Pakistan are facing various forms of violence, discrimination and inequality in almost every aspect of life. Violence against women in many fields is often not conceived as a violation of human rights but rather as a normal aspect of lives of Pakistani people. They live in an atmosphere of fear, and their lives are guaranteed in exchange for obedience to social norms and traditions. Because of this fear and sense of being inferior, imposed by the traditional thoughts of a male dominated society, women are suffering immensely especially in their homes (Fikree and Jafarey, 2004).

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxietychronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationshipsbullying, and abuse in the workplace (Maguire and Daniel, 2007).

Rates of reported emotional abuse in the workplace vary, with studies showing 10% 24%and 36%of respondents indicating persistent and substantial emotional abuse from coworkers (Keashly and Jagatic, 2003).

It is also found that males and females commit “emotionally abusive behaviors” in the workplace at roughly similar rates. In under develop parts of the world women were more likely to engage in workplace bullying, such as name calling and that the average length of abuse was 16.5 months (Hansen et al., 2006).

Cultural and Structural Violence and Abuse against Women: Violence against women is a worldwide problem because it includes half of the humanity. Women all over the world face multiple forms of violence just because of being women. There are many cultural and structural causes which provide sound basis for the continual perpetuation of violence against women all over the world (Holmvall & Francis, 2007).

 Objective

The main objective of the research is to identify the causes of emotional abuse against working women at work place.

 Methodology

Study Area at glance

The Universe of the present study was comprised of Punjab province.  Punjab is the most developed and populous province of Pakistan with approximately 56% of the country’s total population.

 Research Design

An exploratory study was conducted with 300 females working in public and private offices in the different parts of the Punjab province Pakistan. The key objective of this survey was to analyze the causes of emotional abuse against working women.

 Selection of Study area and Sample

A cross-sectional survey was carried out from Punjab province. Punjab is the most populated province of Pakistan, with 86084,000 people in 2005. Punjab province is comprised of eight divisions. Multistage sampling technique was used. Two divisions, Faisalabad and Sargodha were selected randomly out of eight divisions. One district in each division was selected randomly. District Faisalabad and district Sargodha selected randomly. 150 working women were selected in each district conveniently from public and private sectors.

 Tool for Data Collection

For the collection of the data, the single instrument was used to gather data.  A structured questionnaire was used as a tool of data collection in the field for research.

 Data Analysis: Data were analyzed by using SPSS 16.0.

 Results and Discussions

Table 1

Distribution of the respondents about social factors affecting emotional abuse on Working Women

Statement Strongly agree Agree Somewhat Disagree Strongly disagree
F % F % F % F % F %
Do you bear emotional abuse due to job insecurity? 68 22.7 85 28.3 40 13.3 47 15.7 60 20.0
Do you think that abuser at workplace knows my weakness of potential job loss? 28 9.3 97 32.3 40 13.3 87 29.0 48 16.0
Do you think being less experienced also makes me vulnerable to emotional abuse? 58 19.3 96 32.0 78 26.0 29 9.7 39 13.0
Do you think that due to the scarcity of the jobs women have to show the patience of abusive behavior of the counterpart? 88 29.3 105 35.0 28 9.3 50 16.7 29 9.7
Do you think that private sector have more chance and opportunities to victim and being abusive as compare to government? 85 28.3 101 33.6 49 16.3 50 16.3 15 5.0
Do you think that in every institution women have to bear the abusive behavior of their counterpart 75 25.0 107 35.7 59 19.7 59 19.7 00 00

It is important to note why most women’s face emotional abuse in organizations and what steps advocates working to stop violence against women should do to deter violence like emotional abuse.22.7 percent females strongly agree that they bear emotional abuse due to job insecurity, 28.3 percent agree and 20.0 percent strongly disagree with this statement. 9.3 percent strongly agree and 32.3 percent agree that abuser at workplace knows weakness of potential job loss. 19.3 percent research participants think being less experienced also makes me vulnerable to emotional abuse while one-fourth, 26.0 percent remained almost neutral over this statement.

More than one-third that is 35.0 percent women opined that due to the scarcity of the jobs women have to show the patience of abusive behaviour of the counterpart. Only 9.7 percent strongly disagreed with this idea. More than one-fourth research respondents, 28.3 percent strongly agree that private sector have more chance and opportunities to victim and being abusive as compare to government while 33.6 percent agreed to this opinion. Only 16.3 percent disagree. 25.0 percent strongly agreed and 35.7 percent agreed with the statement “in every institution women have to bear the abusive behaviour of their counterpart”.

Table 2

Percentage distribution of the respondents with regard to their perception about Cultural Characteristics and emotional abuse on working women

 

Statement Strongly agree Agree Neutral disagree Strongly disagree
F % F % F % F % F %
Did you ever face emotional abuse at work place? 99 33.0 92 30.7 40 13.3 50 16.7 19 6.3
Do you think that at work males try to create psychological problems for you? 140 46.6 132 44.0 00 00 59 19.7 69 23.0
Do you think that it is in nature of male to abuse the women? 77 25.66 154 51.3 00 00 40 13.3 29 9.7
Do you feel that culture is responsible for my weaker position in society? 47 15.7 163 54.3 00 00 60 20.0 30 10.0
Would you like to fight for rights if culture does not hinder? 111 37.0 140 46.6 00 00 29 9.7 20 6.7
Do you think that submissive position of women in society makes vulnerable to abuse? 29 9.7 125 41.7 88 29.3 39 13.0 19 6.3
Do you think that gender inequality is based on low status of women in society? 78 26.0 145 48.3 00 00 57 19.0 20 6.7
Do you follow the instructions of family about the behavior in society? 69 23.0 193 64.3 00 00 29 9.7 9 3.0
Do you think consider importance of gender, sect, or caste 39 13.0 108 36.0 38 12.7 76 25.3 39 13.0
Do you think current social status of women in society is appropriate? 20 6.7 9 3.0 79 26.3 95 31.7 97 32.3
Do you think it is the obligation of every woman to bear men’s abuse? 9 3.0 19 6.3 40 13.3 127 42.3 105 35.0
Do you think to abuse the women is culturally accepted in our society? 85 28.3 97 32.2 29 9.7 70 23.3 19 6.3
Women victimization is the fate of women 19 6.3 69 23.0 30 10.0 116 38.7 66 22.0
Women marginalized role is not a big issue of the society 29 9.7 77 25.7 30 10.0 135 45.7 29 9.7
Male dominancy leads to development 67 22.3 49 16.3 39 13.0 69 23.0 76 25.3
There is a possibility that next generation will be free to choose their profession. 107 35.7 126 42.2 39 13.0 9 3.0 19 6.3

Data exhibited that 33.0 percent females strongly agree and 30.7 percent agree that they have faced emotional abuse at workplace. 13.3 percent respondents remained neutral.16.7 percent disagree and 6.3 percent strongly disagree with this statement. A majority i.e. 46.6 percent females strongly agree while 44.0 percent agree that at work males try to create psychological problems for them.19.7 percent disagree and nearly one-fourth, 23.0 percent strongly disagree with it. These results show that men are prone to create psychological problems for women. Is it in the nature in males to abuse the women? Data depicted that 25.6 percent females gave answer “yes” it is. A huge majority of 51.3 percent females agree to this statement. Only 13.3 percent disagree with this statement. A majority of 69.0 percent respondents doubt in nature of males. They think that it is in nature of male to abuse the women. Only 9.7 percent disagree to this opinion.

Culture is an important aspect of a society. Culture influences the people living in a societal set up. 15.7 percent respondents of this study strongly feel that culture is responsible for women weaker position in society. A huge majority that is 54.3 percent agree with it. Only 20.0 percent respondents disagree with this statement. Almost 37.0 percent females like to fight for right if culture does not hinder. An un-ignorable majority of percent agree with this opinion. 9.7 percent respondents remain disagree.9.7 percent strongly agree and 41.7 percent agree that submissive position of women in society makes them vulnerable to abuse.29.3 percent respondents remain neutral but 13.0 percent respondents disagree with this statement.

Gender equality is, first and foremost a human right. Women are entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from want and from fear. 26.0 percent women strongly agree that gender inequality is based on low status of women in society. Nearly half i.e. 48.3 percent agree to this idea. About one-fourth i.e. 23.0 percent women strongly admit that they follow the instructions of family about the behavior of the society.13.0 percent women think that the gender, sect or caste is important 36.0 percent also consider it true. 6.7 percent females are completely accepting that current social status of women in society is appropriate.32.3 percent also reply that it is true.31.7 percent disagree with this statement.3.0 percent females think that it is the obligation of every woman to bear men`s abuse.6.3 percent also agree while 13.3 percent remain neutral.42.3 percent disagree and 35.0 strongly disagree to this statement.

 Hypothesis 1

Higher the age of the respondents, higher will be the understanding with emotional abuse

Table 3

Association between age of the respondents and understanding with emotional abuse

Age of the respondents Emotional abuse Total  
Yes No Confused  
18-27 101 8 13 122
46.1% 15.1% 46.4% 40.7%
28-37 100 36 10 146
45.7% 67.9% 35.7% 48.7%
More than 38 18 9 5 32
8.2% 17.0% 17.9% 10.6%
Total 219 53 28 300
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Chi-Square Test

  Value DF Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 20.331a 4 .000
Likelihood Ratio 22.211 4 .000
Linear-by-Linear Association 5.882 1 .015
N of Valid Cases 300    

Table 3 presents the association between age of the respondents and their understanding with the emotional abuse. Chi-square value shows a high-significant association between age of the respondents and their understanding with emotional abuse. Gamma value shows a positive relationship between the variables. It means high age respondents had more understanding with emotional abuse as compared to low age respondents. So the hypothesis “Higher the age of the respondents, higher will be the understanding with emotional abuse” is accepted.

 

Conclusions

The conclusions based on the present research study is most of the respondents were literate. Three fourth of respondents who participated in study were government employees. One-third majority of research participants think that religion provides domination to men over women. A majority of women that is a bit less than half strongly believe, culture provides domination to men over women. Research participants strongly agree that women can play the role at work place as men. The findings clearly show that women believe they can be better decision makers. Emotional abuse at work males try to create psychological problems for them. Results show that men are prone to create psychological problems for women. About one-fourth majority of women who participated in study strongly admit that they follow the instructions of family about the behavior of the society. A reasonable majority of women support egalitarian society in this society. It shows an improvement in awareness about their rights. So the government should realize and make people to realize the importance of women empowerment. The importance of female education must be spread through different channels of awareness so that they can avoid exploitation and violence imposed by patriarchy. There should be implementation of law of tort and easement to reduce the emotional abuse.

 References

Fikree, F. F., Jafarey, S. N., Korejo, R., Khan, A., & Durocher, J. M. (2004). Pakistani Obstetricians’ Recognition of and Attitude towards Domestic Violence Screening. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 87, 59-65.

Hansen, A., Hogh, A., Persson, R., Karlson, B., Garde, A., &Orbaek, P. (2006).Bullying at work, health outcomes and physiological stress response.Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 63-72.

Holmvall, C. and Francis, L. (2007) How Rude: Incivility in the Workplace Hurts More than Just Feelings. The Workplace Review, pp. 16-20.

Keashly, L., &Jagatic, K. (2003). By any other name: American perspectiveson workplace bullying. In S. Einarsen, H. Hoel, D. Zapf, & C. Cooper (Eds.), Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace: International perspectives in research and practice (pp. 31–61). London: Taylor Francis.

Maguire, J., & Ryan, D. (2007). Aggression and violence in mental health services: categorizing the experiences of Irish nurses. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 14(2), 120-127.

 

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