Education of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan: Enhanced Agency, Unfulfilled Aspirations
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This paper examines the extent to which the capability approach captures the complexity of the lives of young women with disabilities in Pakistan, particularly in relation to their education. Focusing on their educational experiences and outcomes, we examine the ways in which education shaped what these young women were able to achieve – what they wanted to do and be. In undertaking this research, we adopted a collaborative, qualitative approach involving in-depth interviews with six young women with disabilities. All these women were interesting and exemplary cases, given their very high levels of education. Our findings suggest that the capability approach provides a framework that is able to capture the educational experiences–outcomes journey of the young women. However, also interesting to note is how the expansion of their capabilities is bounded, primarily because their freedoms are intrinsically linked to their sociocultural positioning and largely negative perceptions of disability in the wider society.