Workforce inequality

As a concerned citizen of Pakistan, I am deeply troubled by the glaring gender inequality in our workforce, as highlighted in a recent analysis by economist Rehan Zahid. The Global Gender Gap Index 2023 paints a stark picture, ranking Pakistan at a dismal 142 out of 146 countries. This is a wake-up call for urgent and comprehensive reforms to empower women and ensure their equal participation in the labor market.

It is disheartening to see our country grappling with challenges such as low literacy rates among women, high school dropout rates, and limited access to education. These barriers not only hinder women’s progress but also hold back our nation’s potential for growth and development.

While there is some progress in wage equality, with Pakistan ranking 71st globally, the overall labor force participation rate for women remains shockingly low at 15.5%. This disparity is even more pronounced in rural areas, where women face additional hurdles and earn significantly less than their male counterparts.

Rehan Zahid’s analysis sheds light on the multifaceted issues contributing to this inequality, including deep-rooted social norms, safety concerns, educational limitations, and a lack of awareness about job opportunities for women.

To address these pressing challenges, we must take concrete steps. This includes providing safe transportation options, implementing gender-sensitive policies in workplaces, expanding vocational training programs, recognising women’s contributions in the informal economy, and empowering women through media campaigns and education initiatives.

It is imperative that we, as a nation, prioritise gender equality in the workforce. By doing so, we can harness the full potential of our workforce, drive economic growth, and work towards a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Pakistanis. 


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