Women in Pakistan must overcome many cultural obstacles to pursue careers in research. But growing women's liberation movements are helping to change this, and statistics show their efforts are having some effect.
In this article in Nature, Ehsan Masood describes how women in Pakistani universities are feeling the changes.
Most are still unable to work late, and women cannot travel alone which makes fieldwork difficult or impossible. But small changes, such as making women-only transport available are making things easier.
The statistics are a telling sign of recent improvements. The proportion of women students in universities increased from one in five in 1991 to one in three in 2001. Likewise, the percentage of university lecturers who are women increased from 13 per cent in 1990 to 24 per cent in 2002.
Ehsan Masood is a regular contributor to SciDev.Net, and coordinates SciDev.Net's biodiversity dossier