By Dr Saeed Ahmed Ali
ISLAMABAD, Mar 07 (APP):As integral part of the society, Pakistani women had the potential to play a multi-dimensional role of societal and organizational responsibility, particularly when phenomenal changes are taking place across the globe.
March 8th is marked as International Women’s Day every year. On this day, women’s achievements are recognized around the globe by highlighting the importance and provision of equal opportunities to them in all fields of life.
According to the research findings of a body of theoretical and empirical study the female labor force participation has a positive and strong relationship with sustainable economic growth.
Talking to APP, the Spokesperson of Punjab Government Musarrat Jamshed Cheema said that keeping in view the significance of women participation in social and economic development, the PTI government was making all possible efforts to empower women socially and economically. “If women were given equal opportunities in all fields, they can produce marvelous results”, she added.
The spokesperson said that Pakistani women have established there mark and performed tremendously in all walks of life. Their services would be even more valuable if they were provided with more opportunities to move forward. “It is right time to actively integrate and engage skilled women in country’s jobs and policies, so that the pace of development and progress in Pakistan can be enhanced,” she added. To a query regarding violence against women, she said it was a moral duty of men to address the issue and strive to protect women’s honor and dignity.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in its document regarding Population and Housing Census 2017 has revealed that the gender-vise population ratio included 51 percent Men, 48.76 percent Women and 0.24 per cent Trans-genders which compose the total population of Pakistan.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) data indicates that Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for men in Pakistanis 82.5 per cent which is more than three times higher than women’s contribution of 24.8 per cent.
Despite social and other barriers, Pakistani female labor force’s participation in Pakistan has shown a growth level by more than half over the past 2 decades.
Though among women a high level of education and labor force participation is low, yet about 25 per cent of Pakistani women who have a graduate or post-graduate degree could work outside their homes.
Despite the considerable gender gap in the unemployment rate which is 5 percent for male workers and 9 per cent for female, the women labour workforce was contributing at a surprising level. In the urban areas, the female unemployment rate rises to 20 percent while that of males is 6 per cent.
Labour activist and Secretary Bonded Labour Liberation Front(BLLF) Syeda Ghulam Fatima said that despite high qualifications of the young females, the social issues were causing the low outdoor labour force participation , resulting in a significant potential loss of productivity in the country.
Historian and Social Activist Professor Irshad Rashid said that it was worth mentioning that looking into the history corridors, the first Muslim notable and general women-community of Makkah and Madina was remarkably egalitarian in terms of gender relations. These Muslim women were true reflection of Islamic teachings including part and parcel of the social, economic, political, cultural, religious and scholarly life of the Islamic community.
The highly skilled women have now embedded themselves into the local and international platforms where their voice and demands could meet success.
However, it was encouraging that female labor force’s contribution in Pakistan was being grown alongside Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over time with economic growth bringing in opportunities and working women participating to overall production.
A new research on Women Labour utilization in Pakistan, conducted by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) shows significant attention towards the role played by the female labor force in the economic development of the country.
The research mentioned that the structural shifting of economy paradigm from agriculture to industrial and job sector was reducing the female labor force contribution in the country.