Religious Tolerance, Gender Equality and Bellicose Attitudes: A Comparative Study of Three Educational Systems in Pakistan


  • Nazia Nazar
  • Karin Österman
  • Kaj Björkqvist



Pakistan, religious tolerance, gender equality, bellicose attitudes, school, madrassa


The study explores differences between Pakistani students from three types of schools regarding religious tolerance, views on gender equality, and bellicose attitudes towards India. A questionnaire was filled in by 285 girls and 300 boys, 15?17 years of age (mean age identical for both = 15.8, SD = 0.8), from three different types of schools (Urdu Medium, English Medium, and Madrassas). Significant differences were found: students attending English Medium schools differed most from other students. They scored highest on religious tolerance and gender equality, and lowest on bellicose attitudes towards India, while students attending Madrassas scored lowest on gender equality. Especially girls from the Madrassas scored lower than all other students on religious tolerance, and highest on bellicose attitudes. Madrassa students experienced themselves as victims of religious intolerance more often than others. Religious tolerance and positive attitudes towards gender equality were highly correlated.