Women’s workforce is what that Pakistan is in need now

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Pakistan’s productivity can be increased by women, but there are societal, safety, and economical restrictions that prevent them from doing so. The more intriguing and difficult topic is how to make a difference and assist Pakistan in realizing its full potential.
The present thought on promoting women’s economic engagement is largely focused on offering skill development programmes and financial incentives. Both are necessary together, according to lessons learned from Pakistan and other parts of the world. The Punjab Skills Development Fund’s experience providing skills training between 2013 and 2016 shows that it enhances business income, but the rise is multiplied when taught women are additionally connected with sales agents.Women may sometimes receive grants and loans, but they frequently have little say over how those money are used.
Women were more likely to pick up their cash themselves (rather than having it collected in their name by another household member) and, as a result, had more control over how the funds were to be used, when the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) converted to biometric verification for disbursement of funds.
It is difficult, but not impossible, to change cultural attitudes around female breadwinners. One strategy that works around a prevailing norm is the provision of safe and reasonably priced transportation. A recent research analyzing a funded skills training programme in Punjab provides evidence of how much safety concerns can limit female mobility. They discovered that if training required travelling outside of the community, women were four times less likely to finish it.
Peer support networks allowed women in India to share knowledge and feel more secure moving about their neighborhoods. When presented with reliable information regarding more favorable attitudes held by their peers, Saudi Arabian men changed their own opinions on women’s work. On the other hand, recent data from Pakistan suggests that attitudes toward working women may be changed with even gentler prodding, such as introducing women to other female role models. Since the number of women in the labor declines proportionately as income rises, this also implies that efforts to keep women in the workforce should be made throughout higher income quintiles in order to encourage a change in sociocultural behavior.
It will take time to change society so that women are valued for their economic contribution. However, due to a lack of skills, low pay, and gender imbalances, women in the lowest income group – where 24% of women work to supplement household income – do not completely benefit monetarily from their job.
Women borrowers from these at-risk households could experience large development benefits if they are encouraged to use their loans productively. As an alternative to attempting to address gender wage discrepancies or encouraging formal work at low-income quintile levels, which is logistically challenging, it may also be a way to assist households earn more money and change mindsets in the short term.
Gender-related Key Performance Indictors must be implemented by all lending institutions, including banks and microcredit. These KPIs must be practical and account for the various sociocultural contexts present across the provinces. However, they need to be watched over and raised gradually. An ideal way to coordinate this would be to establish a gender-related advisory council within the Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance, which could suggest suitable KPIs in line with Pakistan’s long-term goals. The State Bank of Pakistan would then be required to monitor, publicly communicate, and enforce these KPIs in accordance with its regulatory system.
This will make it easier to assess how well present programmes are working toward their stated goals. A number of well-intentioned financial and training programmes for the public have had some impact in encouraging women’s economic engagement. For instance, despite a declared inclination to foster women’s economic engagement, there are approximately five times as many male applications as female candidates for the PM’s Youth Programme.
Financial institutions must create products to draw more female borrowers, especially from low-income groups, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable households. Additionally, they must develop disbursement strategies that lessen the misuse of women’s income (like the BISP biometric verification system).
Through informational interventions, exposure to role models, and the encouragement of conversations (through media campaigns and college-based programs) that oppose gender discrimination, academic institutions and NGOs need to lessen the stigma of a female breadwinner in target areas.
In order for women to participate more fully in education and/or the workforce, public and private organizations must undertake transportation-related measures that aid boost mobility and assuage safety concerns for them. This might be accomplished by creating and providing better mobility options for women, such as group transportation to and from workplaces, workplaces, factories, etc.
The creation and execution of skill-training and mentoring programs tailored exclusively for women has to be encouraged by professional and academic institutions. In order to lower the obstacles to their mobility, this involves promoting engagement among working women for the purpose of exchanging knowledge and skills, as well as a support network and market connections.
It will take time for society to change to one that values women’s economic participation. A concentrated governmental push for the advancement of women implemented in Malaysia throughout the 1990s was notably successful in raising female employment rates. Even before Pakistan was created, the Quaid emphasized the significance of women’s roles.
“No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen.