Childless Women: Narratives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Keywords:Childlessness, hildless woman, Pakhtun society, stigmatization, stereotypical attitudes
This article documents the experiences of childless Pakhtun women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as narrated by them. These narratives present primary data on the most significant issue about which research studies are relatively scarce. This exploratory study drawing upon in-depth interviews of 45 childless women and 20 men in the 3 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through convenient purposive sampling techniques, presents a narrative of the physical and mental health and lifestyle behaviours of childless women and men currently within 25-60 years of age. Research findings indicate that childless women become more anxious about their social and economic security and hopelessness escalates as the end of childbearing approaches. Further, their self-esteem goes low and depression, anxiety, and grief goes up. Stigmatization, conjugal dissonance and stereotypical attitudes of society injure their selfidentity. This empirical study recommends more studies to be undertaken on the plight of childless persons.