Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Perspectives of Working Women in Pakistan

World wide despite success of feminist movement and recognition of women productive labor indispensableness for sustainable development, there is still acerbating attitude by patriarch world towards working ladies. Feminism, women studies and gender studies all fight for increasing women involvement in economic activities to ensure women empowerment. These concepts for women empowerment rise due to extreme women violence and discrimination by males all over the world. First white women start this movement and later black women contributed a lot towards this movement. Many of third world women also start contributing afterwards. With this rising trend quantity of working women start increasing and developed countries women are highly involved in productive labor. A later survey also shows the countries having women in work equally like men are less poor and more developed. In China women makeup 45% of work force, among them 38% are of all leaders of China, which is now going to be most developed country of world. Develop countries encourage women involvement in productive labor because it leads to development in human resources. Moreover it contributes to lesson poverty, deprivation and vulnerability. If women work then they become economically stable themselves on one hand and contribute to meet basic needs of family on the other hand.

In Pakistan although most of the political leaders give statements in favor of working ladies but in fact they are very conservative towards women involvement in productive work. They mostly give statements only to have public support especially women support which are now 48% percent of population of Pakistan. If these leaders fair enough with women involvement then they should recognize their needs and develop policies to ensure secure working environment along with more productive opportunities. Recently government has passed a bill for protecting women at offices from sexual harassment and abuse but it could be only for 15.8% women involved in services. Although it’s a good approach towards women protection but there is a need of more laws, policies and strategies that not only secure women but also increase opportunities for women.

By all the discussion till now one can ask why women need to work. Allah specified their work as home makers and men are responsible for their all means, then why women have to work? There is no doubt on this natural fact. Allah has created women and men with their roles and responsibilities specified in Quran. Unfortunately men took that references of Quran only in their favor; they do not observe that how much Allah defined strictness if they violate women status, respect and other rights. Women are now willing to do work because of so many reasons. There are wide perspectives of working women in Pakistan.

According to state bank estimations 17% i.e. 27 million people in Pakistan live below $1/day and 73% i.e. 116 million people live below $2/day. This population is assumed to be poor whereas rising inflation in Pakistan leads to further increasing number of people in this category. Moreover in present standards of price hikes $2/day is much less to meet basic needs by even a single individual. In these rising poverty trends most of women prefer to start productive help their males to meet collective subsistence and consumption needs of family.

Social policy and development center give statistics on socio-economic indicators of gender for Pakistan. According to this report percentage share of women in employment is 17%, and only 8% of them are employed from urban Pakistan and 17% employed from rural Pakistan. By industry 67.4% women employed in agricultural whereas 15.8% involved in services. This implies the women have more opportunities in agricultural sector and that’s why rural women are more economically active. Only earning money could not lead to economic progress. Earnings and expenditures should be compared statistically to know the nature of livelihoods and for more effective policy measures