Many well-educated women in the cities live in relative equality, while women in other parts of the country are not even allowed to leave the home without the permission of their husband or family.

Population: 184 million (2010)  

Religions: Islam 97% (Sunni approx. 77%, Shiite 20%); small groups of Hindus, Christians, Parsi, Buddhists and Bahá’ís.

Life expectancy: men 63 years, women 65 years (2011)

Literacy rate: men approx. 63%, women approx. 36% 

Income inequality: Gini coefficient 0.306 (2007/08) *

Ranking on the Transparency International list of Corruption Perceptions in 183 countries:134 (2011) **

Ranking on the UNDP Human Development Index of 146 countries, taking gender equality into account: 115 (2011) ***

Maternal deaths: 376 deaths per l00,000 births.

Number of children/woman: 3.17 (estimate for 2011)

Abortion legislation: Abortion is not a legal right. Abortion is possible if the physical or mental health of the mother is at risk. Abortion is also possible during the first three months after rape, or if the foetus is deformed, or for social reasons. These exceptions are, however, applied restrictively. ( 2010)

Law against rape within marriage: No  

Violence against women in close relationships: each year around 1,000 women are killed as a result of violence in the name of honour. Pakistan is the third most dangerous country in the world for women to live in.

* Gini coefficient:
An economic metric of inequality in a population, for example in income distribution. The Gini coefficient has a value of between 0 and 1, where 0 implies that the assets of all individuals are exactly the same (total equality) while 1 represents total inequality. The lower the Gini coefficient for income inequality, the greater the equality of distribution of salaries, profits, welfare benefits and other forms of compensation.

** Corruption:
In 2011, Transparency International ranked 183 countries according to how widespread corruption was in the country.  Position 1 on the list showed the country where corruption was least widespread, position 183 the greatest. Corruption within, for example, the police and justice systems has a marked influence on women’s lives.  

*** Equality:
Every year, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, measures human development in the world’s countries taking into account health, education and income, in the Human Development Index, HDI. In 2010 a new index was introduced: GII, Gender Inequality Index, which also takes gender equality into account. The countries are ranked from position 1 downwards.


Swedish Institute of International Affairs
Pregnant Pause
Center for Reproductive Rights
CIA World Factbook
Transparency International
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Thomson Reuters Foundation