Patriarchy has its implications – not for women on an individual level but on society as a whole as well. However, it does not stop there.
On a broader level, gender parity affects economic indicators too. Statistics from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) say that if the world can successfully narrow down the gender gap, it can add a whopping $28 trillion in the global gross domestic product (GDP).
However, this can only be made possible if women contribute the same way the men do in the labour force, are provided the same benefits, opportunities, and are employed at the same levels as men.
The gender gaps affect women in the following spheres mostly:
- Educational attainment
- Pay and income
- Labour market activity rates
- Provision of unpaid work
- Distribution of time between men and women.
The mentioned research also revealed the strong relationship between gender parity and economy. Further, additional barriers for women to enter the labor force leads to social exclusion and further drowning in poverty.
THE CASE OF PAKISTAN:
Despite knowing the benefits of increased women participation in the workforce, legal, structural and cultural obstacles hold them back. Pakistan is currently the sixth most populous country in the world, contributing about 2.6% in the total global population.
According to the recent census, 49.2% of the country’s population is female. So now imagine, how many among them are contributing to the economy and others are just a burden on it.
Global Gender Gap report of the World Economic Forum ranked 149 countries on four basic themes: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Pakistan was ranked sixth-worst in the report.
If by 2025, women’s participation in Pakistan’s labor force increases and stands equal to men, the country will witness a 60% increase in GDP. This is equal to an overall gain of $251 billion or approximately $1,324 per person.
Hence to come at par with the global economies and progress, it is important for Pakistan to bring down the gender barriers – for a promising, secure and progressive future.
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