Pakistan is the most vulnerable country for the survival of women | By Dr. Sami Ullah

Pakistan is the most vulnerable country for the survival of women

PAKISTANI women are at the highest level of social, political and economic risk. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, Pakistan is ranked 145th out of 146 countries, indicating the high level of risk for women to survive for basic human rights.

Alarmingly, Congo, Nigeria and Niger offer more equal opportunities based on gender, compared to Pakistan.

Even the figures from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) are not very satisfactory, only 22% of women participate in the labor force, of which 13% are engaged in the traditional agricultural sector.

Women’s participation is insignificant in all sectors of Pakistan’s economy except agriculture.

On the other hand, 71% of women participate in vulnerable jobs, the majority are in the informal sector and considered unpaid family workers.

Globally, a consensus has developed that no country can prosper until it provides equal opportunities for both sexes in all aspects of life.

Even the G-7 countries have announced that they can only sustain their economies by boosting women’s economic empowerment by up to 20% from the current level.

Empowerment of women is the only solution to economic and societal deterioration because when the woman is socially and economically empowered, her priority is to invest in health, education and household quality of life.

While men’s priority is to invest, save and spend in non-development related aspects. Research data is available and indicates that economic empowerment of women leads society towards sustainable living.

Women’s priority is to invest in child development and quality of life indicators.

While male economic empowerment leads to high consumption, investment, savings and other non-human development charms of life ignoring prosperity.

Globally, only countries achieve prosperity where they have equal opportunities for men and women.

There is an urgent need for state-level initiatives to enhance women’s empowerment at all levels.

In Pakistan, the GNI per capita (purchasing power parity) for women is only US$1450, while it is US$8100 for men according to the United Nations Human Development Report.

There is also a very alarming situation regarding educated women, PBS data shows that as the number of female university graduates increases, female labor force participation has been declining for many years.

Second, the participation rate of women is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, contrary to theory.

Disaggregating these statistics, the number of working women increases for the very low and very high income groups, while this number decreases for the middle income groups, the main diaspora of our population.

Low-income groups prioritize their food and basic needs, high-income groups don’t care about other people’s thinking, they can handle everything according to their routine.

The hidden impetus of this discrimination is seen in middle income groups, they are dominated and can easily be determined by culture, society, male dominance and other social norms.

Overall, they have very concrete policy decisions to improve labor supply by reducing incentives in terms of social security and perquisites.

Pakistan has missed targeted initiatives for its economic participation and is facing the cost in terms of GDP volatility.

The main reason behind this uncertainty is that no policy is based on evidence generated by systematic research.

We have designed a planet of quality research in almost all sectors but locked it in files and libraries.

If we use our research-based evidence in future decision-making, no one can stop us from achieving peace, prosperity, and empowerment.

It is very important to share here that our women have the potential to contribute to growth, development, society and well-being.

But all they need is security at home by educating their male counterpart, providing an inclusive work environment, changing rigid and outdated social norms, and providing security by initiating some kind of achievable market-driven decisions .

Now is the time to rethink public policy for the disadvantaged sector of women’s empowerment and take initiatives to strengthen their empowerment for sustainable and inclusive development.

Currently, the world is aiming to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for their survival and developing regions can only achieve the goals by creating inclusive policies and working environment to attract women to happily participate in the development goals of durability.

Pakistan has the potential to compete globally by activating the second half of the disadvantaged portion based on gender.

The state can introduce attractive packages for empowering women by minimizing their vulnerable employment, even expanding the formal part of the economy.

The state should rethink this issue and if successful in developing the adaptation strategy, it will improve the workforce, human development, economic growth, sustainability and rural development.

It is a very easy way to get the economy off the ground towards development by only providing an inclusive work culture and reaping the rewards of economic and societal prosperity for generations to come.

—The author is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Gujrat.

About Sharon Joseph

Check Also

Why has the West nervously predicted when China’s economy will overtake the United States?

Photo: GT It is not surprising that it is increasingly fashionable to predict the evolution …