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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 615, 28 June 2023

Pakistan’s dwindling Gender Parity



Four takeaways from the Global Gender Gap report 2023

Prerana P

On 21 June, Dawn published a report titled “Pakistan ranks 142 out of 146 countries in WEF’s global gender gap report.” The report keenly observes the issue and evolution of gender parity across the country over four major key dimensions, which includes educational attainment, health empowerment, political and economic participation. The followings are the takeaways: 

World Economic Forum report on Global Gender Gap 2023, Pakistan ranked 142nd out of 146 countries. Only four countries fell below which includes Iran, Algeria, Chad and Afghanistan. Although the country has managed to climb up by three ranks since 2022, the gender level parity still remains the lowest. Apart from the global ratings, the essential actor that drives towards the gender gaps are the gender norms. The concept of gender inequality through values and its stereotypically pledged notions have impacted the country, its structure and especially, its framed legal policies.

1.Stunted participation of women in the economic spheres
Pakistan has attained 143rd rank with gender parity of 36.2 per cent respectively in 2023 and the female labour force accounted for mere 20 per cent. Women predominantly worked in production, manufacturing, textiles, leather goods and livestock for agriculture sectors. Apart from the above, the non-agricultural workers consist of only 10 per cent of women workforce. Although the country holds a strong set of youth population, 80 per cent of female population have never been exposed to the labour market. An equal labour force participation can prompt the government with new development ideas, and can also boost the country’s GDP by 60 per cent by 2050. Compared to 2022 report, the country has achieved a better milestone and has outpaced its own record.
 
2. Diminishing enrolment in education 
Pakistan stands at the 138th position and 137th on the literacy rate. Based on the Global Gender Gap report 2021, percentage of women enrolled to the primary school rates up to 61.6 per cent, and the high school has attained 34.2 per cent and the tertiary education has experienced a drastic downfall of 8.3 per cent. The gender inequality in education sector has explicitly led to various socio-economic dilemmas, and Pakistan, which holds rich human capital must improve its gender equal education system. The existence of immense patriarchal cultural norms, male preference, regional conflicts, which are deep rooted in the society, has affected the country to a larger extend.
 
3.Inaccessible Healthcare sector
Pakistan has reported women to have experienced greater barriers to health care when compared to men, which has led to an overall hike in maternal mortality rate. In the Global Gender Gap report it stands at the 132nd position, indicating a slight forward push when compared to other dimensions. Pakistan has batched 132nd position, indicating a slight forward push when compared to other dimensions. Women from lower income group communities are often unaware about the health care facilities, intake of proper nutrition and its importance. Adding to that, over 70 per cent of medical graduates are not able to practice, and six out of 10 female medical post-graduates are unemployed in the country. According to the 2018 Global Digital Report, only 37 per cent women, and out of which economic weaker section of female population have no access to internet. This issue played an enormous role in hindering the population to receive any information regarding Covid 19.
 
4.Public representation face systemic obstacles
Public representation, a major platform of decision-making revolves around the political fragments of the country. Contrary to other indicators Pakistan holds 95th position, as per the Global Gender Gap 2023 report. Pakistani women have played a significant role in the building Pakistan, and the constitution encourages women’s political participation. According to the National Assembly 2008 General Election, 60 seats out of total 342 seats was represented by women, whereas, the provincial assembly women representation had 128 seats for women out of 728 total seats. The reported also consisted of women representation in Legislatures which scores to around 61 seats out of 342, while the women representation in Ministries and local government ranges from 3 and 36,187 seats respectively. Although Pakistan motivates women empowerment in the political sector, there are major obstacles that acts as a barrier to their participation. A wide range of nepotism amongst the political parties, and women are often assumed as fillers to improve the country’s statistics. Finally, there occurs a continuous lack of unity among the women parliamentarians, and proper articulation of women’s rights lack in overall sense.
 
Henceforth, with the help of various articles and reports, a critical analysis can be stated that, the country’s growth is not stagnant, yet does not have a quick pace of development. The study shows the discrimination has favoured males over females in all the four major dimensions. Currently Pakistan is going through a rigorous turmoil, and the country must necessarily utilize the youth and build its economy. Although the disparity cannot be eliminated overnight, the government must supervise on whether the initiatives imposed are successfully implemented or not. Such actions can help the country overcome the challenges at a quicker pace.

Refrences
Amin Ahmed, “Pakistan ranks 142 out of 146 countries in WEF’s global gender gap report,” Dawn, 21 June 2023
Global Gender Gap Report 2022,” World Economic Forum
Global Gender Gap Report 2023,” World Economic Forum
Saira Bano, “Women in Parliament in Pakistan: Problems and Potential Solutions,”
Supporting legal reforms to increase women’s workforce participation in Pakistan,” The World Bank¸ 8 July 2023
Dr Muhammad Abdul Kamal, “Gender inequality in education,” Pakistan Today, 27 February 2022
Humaira Kamal Pasha, “Gender Differences in Education: Are Girls Neglected in Pakistani Society ?,” National Library of Medicine, 22 March 2023
Gender disparity in Pak healthcare system contributing to dismal health of women,” ANI, 24 May 2021
Yusra Iqbal, Wajiha Khan and Mehwish Mooghal, “Impediment to Leadership Opportunities for Female Doctors- Gender Disparity in Pakistani Healthcare System- SHORT REPORT,” Dovepress, 25 February 2022
Dr Hiba Usmani, “How Pakistan’s healthcare is failing its female doctors,” The Express Tribune, 26 June 2023
 

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