The shared understanding that women should remain within their homes so neighbors do not gossip about their respectability has important implications for their productive activities.
As with public life in general, work appears to be the domain of men.
For their protection and respectability, women have traditionally been expected to live under the constraints of purdah ( is Persian for curtain), most obvious in veiling.
By separating women from the activities of men, both physically and symbolically, purdah creates differentiated male and female spheres.
The most extreme restraints are found in parts of the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan, where women almost never leave their homes except when they marry and almost never meet unrelated men.
Others, both rural and urban, do piecework for very low wages in their homes.
In most parts of the country, except perhaps in Islamabad, Karachi, and wealthier parts of a few other cities, people consider a woman--and her family--to be shameless if no restrictions are placed on her mobility.
Purdah is practiced in various ways, depending on family tradition, region, class, and rural or urban residence, but nowhere do unrelated men and women mix freely.
It is common for one nuclear family (with an average of seven members) to live in one or two rooms on each small floor.
In less densely populated areas, where people generally do not know their neighbors, there are fewer restrictions on women's mobility.