Research Leads:

Gender is a cross-cutting thematic area at MHRC and is led by Fellows Dr. Hadia Majid and Dr. Maryam Mustafa.


The theme of gender features in MHRC’s work across its 8 clusters and focuses on multi-faceted research questions including the following:

  • Exploring the definitions and categories of gender
  • How does gender impact access to digital technology, healthcare, education, employment, government personnel, and public services?
  • What does empowerment mean for women in terms of their political, economic, and social agency?

Incorporating qualitative and quantitative research measures, the theme of gender examines the choices women make and the circumstances which perpetuate and reinforce these choices.

Local Context:

In Pakistan, despite introducing policy mechanisms aimed at empowering women, much of the progress surrounding gender equality and equity exists only on paper. In practice, Pakistan needs to prioritize gender sensitivity in its policy-making as it ranks 151 out of 153 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index Report 2020 index.

Rigid social norms and public perceptions which influence women’s choices, status, and access to public services continue to be roadblocks and important points of research inquiry.

Research Problems:


  • How does access to technology promote women’s economic, political and social agency? Read more here.
  • Are states and politicians accountable to their female citizens? What affects this accountability
  • Barriers against women’s workforce participation, financial inclusion, and political participation.
  • Female workers’ vulnerabilities during COVID and access to technology


  • Gender and Urbanization- Why are South Asia’s fast-growing cities not delivering to women?
  • How do we make growth inclusive? What can other country models explain about successful policymaking for inclusion and growth?
  • Understand the social and physiological factors associated with an increase in the fertility rate and its impact on maternal and child health.

Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre at LUMS

Postal Address


Sector U, DHA

Lahore Cantt, 54792, Pakistan

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