Gender segregation as a benefit – a qualitative study from Pakistan

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AimTo explore the possibility of exploiting gender segregation as a benefit for registered female nurses.BackgroundNursing is a highly gendered profession in Pakistan with 95% of nurses comprising females who suffer from low professional status, negative identity and unfavourable work environments.MethodsA qualitative research design was used to interview 12 nurses in management positions through purposive sampling. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted to explore the views of female nurses on the benefits, if any, of gender segregation in the nursing profession.ResultsContent analysis identified three major categories of benefits of gender segregation for female nurses including: (1) demand for female nurses compared with demand for males, (2) resilience of female nurses in the face of difficult work environments and (3) comfort and safety of female co-workers in a male-dominated setting.ConclusionRealising the benefits of gender segregation could mobilise nurse teamwork and union efforts in order to improve nurse identity, professional status and work environments.Implications for nurse managementThe present study highlights the nurse manager role in advancing knowledge of gender segregation benefits, team-building for gender solidarity, control of nurse supply, union mobilization and raising community awareness for women's health development.

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