Labor policy in pakistan

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Labor policy in pakistan

  1. 1. insafresearchwinsafresearchwin Insaf Research Wing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Tehreek IRW Insaf Research Wingginsafresearchwinginsafresearch Central Secretariat Street No. 84,winginsafresearchwinginsafresea Finding solutions for a better Pakistan Sector GG-6/4, Islamabad, Pakistan. Tel: 92 92-51-2270744rchwinginsafresearchwinginsafre Fax: 92 92-51-2873893 irw@insaf.pksearchwinginsafresearchwinginsafresearchwinginsafresearchwin “Currently, the government of Pakistan is spending about 2 percent of the GNP on education. This is insufficient, given the educational needs of the country. The government must commit to allocate a higher percentage to the education sector, and to proportionally allocate this toginsafresearchwinginsafresearch various sub-sectors of education, especially women’s education.” sectorswinginsafresearchwinginsafresea Labor Policy in Pakistanrchwinginsafresearchwinginsafresearchwinginsafresearchwingins April 13, 2012 Author: Amna Khanafresearchwinginsafresearchwin Committee: Socio-Political Committee Dossier # 001ginsafresearchwinginsafresearch Version # 001 Policywinginsafresearchwinginsafresearchwinginsafresearchwinginsafre fresearchwinginsafresearchwinginsafredisciplinejusticehumanityequalityfaithpietydis
  2. 2. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanInsaf Research Wing (IRW) is a part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (movement for justice a political party,PTI). IRW was created in 2009 to carry out research in order to find solutions for problems in Pakistan.The foremost goal of IRW is to keep people of Pakistan and PTI informed and prepared.The wing is composed of 10 committees. Each committee addresses issues related to its field of expertise.The committees defined as of yet are (i) Socio-Political (ii) Information & Technology (iii) Economic (iv)Energy (v) Healthcare (vi) Corruption (vii) Foreign Affairs (viii) Education (ix) Environment (x) StrategicThinking.The research reports/papers are either commissioned by the central executive committee of PTI orcommittee members of IRW. PTI members can also suggest IRW to consider researching on a matter theyfind important. IRW welcomes any contributions in the form of scholarly work addressing importantissues. Nevertheless, after the author(s) sends the document it is peer reviewed before getting published.In the process of peer review the document is technically analyzed and scrutinized. The procedure isnecessary to maintain quality control. However, varying opinions & ideas are not penalized.Apart from working on research reports/papers which shed light on problems and provide basicsolutions, IRW undertakes the task of preparing extensive policies for PTI. These detailed and in-depthpolicy documents are a combination of input from several professionals who are well versed in thesubject. IRW also serves as a check on the reigning government’s policies.The Wing does not follow a preset ideology while carrying out research. IRW does not endorse anyopinion presented in a published report/paper as an official position. Likewise, several researchreports/paper on a similar subject published by IRW can have contradictory recommendationsthough it should be noted that these point of views are sole responsibility of the author(s). Veryrarely when there is a complete consensus on a certain research report/paper within IRW onlythen it is recommended to PTI for official perusal. Any published document by the wing does notconstitute it as an official position of PTI unless otherwise stated.Insaf Research Wing works at a national level but its members are located throughout the world bringingin the much needed international experience. IRW practices an open membership policy valid for allPakistanis regardless of religion or race. Nevertheless, members of other nationalities from internationalorganizations interested in helping Pakistan are always welcome to join IRW.Published reports of IRW can be accessed at PTI’s website www.insaf.pk. The headquarter of IRW islocated at PTI’s Central Secretariat, Street No. 84, Sector G-6/4, Islamabad, Pakistan.Copyright © 2009 by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf All rights reserved.The contents of this report/paper cannot be reproduced without prior permission of IRW.Insaf Research Wing Page 2
  3. 3. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistan Table of ContentsINTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................................................... 5IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY OF LABOR MARKET POLICY .................................................................................................. 5PAKISTAN- AN OVERVIEW........................................................................................................................................................ 5PROBLEM OF ACCESS AND EQUITY ......................................................................................................................................... 6LABOR POLICY IN PAKISTAN................................................................................................................................................... 6FEMALE LABOR PARTICIPATION .............................................................................................................................................. 7DEFINITION OF FEMALE LABOR PARTICIPATION ................................................................................................................... 7RANKINGS ON INTERNATIONAL INDEXES ............................................................................................................................ 7THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WOMEN’S WORK ............................................................................................................................ 7FACTORS THAT DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF WORK WOMEN DO ................................................................................ 8FORMAL SECTOR ....................................................................................................................................................................... 8WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND TRADE UNIONS ................................................................................... 9 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENDER ON WAGES, INDUSTRY PARTICIPATING ..................................................................... 9 ECONOMIC POLICY REFORMS ........................................................................................................................................... 9 WAGE GAPS BETWEEN GENDER ......................................................................................................................................10 VOCATIONAL TRAINING OF WOMEN .............................................................................................................................12RECOMMENDATIONS .............................................................................................................................................................12 CHANGING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS IS CUMBERSOME, BUT STILL POSSIBLE...................................................................12 ADDRESS THE EDUCATION NEEDS OF WOMEN .............................................................................................................13 THE GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN SHOULD SPEND MORE ON EDUCATION .........................................................13 THE GOVERNMENT AND THE INTERNATIONAL NGOS SHOULD COLLABORATE TO BUILD MORE SCHOOLS AND TRAIN MORE TEACHERS ...............................................................................................................................................13 MAKE PRIMARY EDUCATION FREE AND COMPULSORY FOR BOTH MALE AND FEMALE STUDENTS ..................... 13 THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD IMPROVE ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH TO PROMOTE FEMALE EDUCATION.......13 ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT MONITORING AND EVALUATION MECHANISM TO OVERSEE EDUCATION DELIVERY ........................................................................................................................................................................................13 DEVELOP ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN ......................................................................................14 PROMOTION OF SMALL MEDIUM ENTERPRISES.........................................................................................................14 THE INTERNATIONAL DONOR AGENCIES CAN CREATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR POTENTIAL WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS........................................................................................................................14 ESTABLISHING/STRENGTHENING WOMEN’S BUSINESS FORUM ................................................................................14 THE PUBLIC BANKS IN PAKISTAN AND THE FINANCIAL NGOS SHOULD DEVELOP AND ENHANCE MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS................................................................................................................................................................14CONCLUSION .........................................................................................................................................................................14BIBLIOGRAPHY.........................................................................................................................................................................16ABOUT THE AUTHOR ............................................................................................................................................................16Insaf Research Wing Page 3
  4. 4. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanExecutive SummaryThis paper examines gender discrimination at the labor market in Pakistan and how they were addressed bythe labor policy of 2010. The paper identifies labor issues related to women in Pakistan, and explain theirsignificance with context to the working of the economy. It also provides recommendation guidelines to thegovernment of Pakistan to help resolve these issues.The main issues facing women are:  Low enrollment in schools. The literacy rate which is 54 percent for both males and females - drops to 35 percent for females.  Low labor market participation. In 2009, Pakistan had 22 percent of women in the labor force according to International Labor Organization. They also face multitude of problems at workforce in the form of sexual harassment, low career progress and low wages. This problem requires immediate attention and commitment of the government of Pakistan, International Agencies such as the UN and ILO. The following recommendations will be instrumental in mitigating this problem  Increase women education by increasing spending on education by the federal government, building more schools, making education compulsory for all children irrespective of gender, improving advocacy and outreach to promote female education and establishing a monitoring and evaluation agency to oversee education delivery  Increase entrepreneurial opportunities for women by promoting small medium enterprise by women, introduce entrepreneurial vocational training for women. Establishing business forums for women entrepreneurs and lastly by expanding opportunities of microfinance.Insaf Research Wing Page 4
  5. 5. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistan labor is homogenous and instead focuses on laborLabor Policy in differentials based on skill sets that labor possesses. The theory states that increase in education orPakistan training increases workers productivity and increases their income. Any spending on education and training should, hence, be considered as an investment decision. Any investment on education will increase both personal and national income asTo have an adequate appreciation the skill sets of its citizens will increase. But why should we study labor markets and labor marketof the far-reaching effects of policies? Human Capital theory rests on a keydisparities between women and assumption of well functioning labor markets. A person’s economic wellbeing is determined by howmen, we have to recognize the basic much s/he and other family members earn for theirfact that gender inequality is not labor and by what goods, services, and cash theyone affliction, but many, with receive from the government, the community, and others. Even with multilateral and bilateralvarying reach on the lives of women assistance, governments in developing countriesand men, and of girls and boys. lack the funds necessary to make a significant difference in poverty rates through governmentAmartya Sen spending. This means that creating more and better earning opportunities for the poor is the only option available to pull these people out of poverty. It is hence even more important to create wellIntroduction functioning labor markets in the developing countries. This section elaborates on theLabor markets are institutions where work is importance of human capital theory both as a toolexchanged for wages. In the current economic to increase Gross Domestic Product as well as toliterature stream, studying economic labor markets reduce poverty among the citizens. Due to theis gradually becoming more important. The importance that Human Capital Theory(HCT) has,literature, however, focuses more on developed it should be at the core of economic developmentcountries. This paper will examine labor markets in planning.the developing countries. I will use the case studyof Pakistan and look at various labor issues in I will now move on to give a brief demographicPakistan and how effectively they were addressed outline of Pakistan and the labor issues that theby the labor policy of 2010. The primary aim of this country faces.paper is to identify labor issues related to womenin Pakistan, and to explain their significance. Thesecondary aim is to provide recommendationguidelines to the government of Pakistan to help Pakistan- an overviewresolve these issues. In this paper I will stress more Pakistan gained independence from the “British Raj”on the gender issues in the market as I see them as (British Empire) on 14 August, 1947. After 60 yearsa market failure, which is pushing the country away of independence, Pakistan is still ranked as a low-from the natural equilibrium. A very basic middle income country. The Gross Domesticassumption of an operating labor market is that it Product (GDP) of the country is 161 billion dollarswill function efficiently without any market failures. (WB, dataset, 2009), and the Gross NationalI feel that this assumption does not hold true for Income per capita in 2009 was 1,020 dollars.the case of Pakistan. The recommendations (UNICEF, 2010). With a population of over 160provided below will not be exhaustive but can act million (WB, 2009), 43 million people lives belowas guidelines for the government to combat the the poverty line of dollar a day (FCO, 2011).labor issues related to gender. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, with 38 percent of its total population under 15 years old (Leahy, 2007). The United NationsImportance of the study of Labor Market estimates that Pakistan’s population will increase byPolicy another 54 million people in the next 15 years. (UN, 2005).The Human Capital Theory has been proposed bySchultz(1961) and developed extensively byBecker(1964). HCT challenges the notion thatInsaf Research Wing Page 5
  6. 6. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanWith a steadily increasing youth population, curriculum for the first grade (Andrabi 2008). ThisPakistan faces serious challenges in ensuring is an example of how the current education systemuniversal primary education. Literacy rate, which is is not only inaccessible to all children but alsobased on the ability to write your name, is barely greatly lacks in quality.50 percent (FCO, 2011). This is abysmal whencompared to the literacy rate of the United States,which is at 99 percent. It is low even when Problem of access and equitycompared to other countries in South Asia, wherethe average literacy rate among countries is 61 As explained previously, there are numerouspercent. disparities in the education system of Pakistan. The lack of access to education across different incomeWithin Pakistan, there are significant differences in and gender groups further exacerbates theeducation across the urban-rural, male-female and problem. The overall literacy rate among the poorrich-poor divides. For instance, literacy rate which in Pakistan is 28 percent, while among the middleis 54 percent on the whole, drops to 35 percent for and upper-middle classes this rate jumps to 49%.females. Pakistan is one of five world nations with The net enrollment rate is 37 percent for the poorthe lowest literacy rates and among the twelve as opposed to 59 percent for the middle and upperworld nations that spend less than three percent of classes (World Bank 2002).their Gross Domestic Product on education (Shah2003; Kronstadt 2004; Farah 2007). There is a high Enrolment remains the lowest in the poorestdropout rate even for primary school students. The quintile, and the dropout rate is highest among thisUnited States Agency for International group. This is a troublesome fact, especially sinceDevelopment states that of the two-thirds of 65 percent of the population of Pakistan lives belowPakistani children (ages five to nine) who have ever $2 a day (UNESCO 2006). With commitments toenrolled in school, only one-third manage to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) andcomplete primary education (fifth grade; Kronstadt Education for All goals (EFA), extensive efforts will2004). 70 percent of these students are male and have to be made to provide equitable education53 percent are female. The Primary Gender Parity access to this low-income group. A lack ofIndex GPI ratio1 rests at 0.78 (World Bank 2008). education would mean that this group will continueWhile the literacy rate has steadily increased over to be employed in the lower wage informal sector,the years for both subgroups of males and females, with little or no chances of career growth. Thisthe gap between them still remains large. This is of makes it hard for them to break the cycle ofimmense significance for labor policy since lower poverty and get a fair chance to improve their lives.education in women will lead to lower labor The importance of a better-educated populationparticipation rates for females. Most women will grows significantly as Pakistan moves from anthus continue to participate in informal markets, agrarian based to a service sector based economy.earning little income and unable to break the In 1999, 27 percent of the labor force wascontinuous cycle of poverty. employed in agriculture, while 49 percent worked in the services sector. In 2009, the number ofThe quality of education provided in most areas is people employed in agriculture went down to 21.6also low, and great disparity exists within the percent, and those employed in the service sectorprovinces and the urban-rural divide. Furthermore, increased to 54.2 percent. This structural changethe primary school completion rate in rural areas means that traditional, brute force work,for females is three times lower than that for males. agricultural work is in gradual decline in PakistanIn urban areas this rate is twice as low (Herz and (Labor force survey, 2010).Sperling 2004). Surveys assessing the quality ofeducation which were conducted between 2003and 2007 under the Learning and Educational Labor Policy in PakistanAchievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) show thatstudents were performing well below their grade The labor policy of Pakistan, 2010 addressed manylevels. By the end of the third grade, barely 50 important labor issues. The effectiveness of thispercent of students had mastered the mathematics labor policy will be discussed below. The 2010 labor policy was presented by the democratic1 government that came to power in 2009. Most of The Gender Parity Index (GPI) is the features were the same as past labor policiesa socioeconomic index usually designed to measurethe relative access to education of males and but there were some notable differences. I willfemales. In its simplest form, it is calculated as the discuss the salient features of this policy thatquotient of the number of females by the number of currently affect labor issues, especially women labormales enrolled in a given stage of education.Insaf Research Wing Page 6
  7. 7. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistanparticipation, in Pakistan. The minimum wage in in the labor force tends to be less affected by suchPakistan has increased from Rs. 6000 (around $70) issues. According to the Pakistan Integratedto Rs. 7000 (around $80). Although this is an Household Survey, which measures workincrease in monetary wages, if we take into participation over a reference period that is longerconsideration the inflation rate of over 30 percent, than that used by the Labor Force Survey, 67it amounts to a fall in terms of real wages. percent of males and 25 percent of females were participating in the labor force in 2001-2002. ThisThe policy also emphasized that it would regularize includes both paid and unpaid (family labor) work.the informal workers (the majority of which are Women who participate are much more likely towomen) within the “shortest time possible”. It is do so in unpaid work, while men are more likely tointeresting to notice that no time frame or actions participate in paid work. Almost 60 percent ofwere promised by the government on how it plans women involved in the labor force are unpaidto regularize such workers. workers. This is a very high rate compared to that of men; among those who participate in the laborAnother salient feature of this labor policy was that force, only 19 percent of men are unpaid family“Matric-Tech” schemes were introduced in worker workers.welfare schools. Schools which receive fundingfrom the labor department are commonly knownas worker welfare schools. In these schools freeeducation is given to children of the laborers. In Rankings on International Indexessuch schools, Matric-Tech schemes promote an Pakistan is a country that does not do well oneducation curriculum in which vocational training is international gender related indexes. It is ranked inprovided along with the regular high school the UNDP gender related index at 135 out of 174curriculum. This is done to provide vocation countries. In terms of gender empowerment,training to students, so that they may be better Pakistan is ranked at 100 out of 102 countries. Theequipped for the labor market after school. Here, it ranking in gender empowerment is primarily ais important to recognize that women are generally function of low female education and laborexcluded from vocational training and once again participation rates.no commitment came from the government toaddress this dire issue.It is interesting to highlight that this labor policy is The Significance of Women’s Workmerely a list of recommendations and suggestions. Research on women who perform paid work inThere is no budget attached to it, and the Pakistan reveals that they work out of economicgovernment and other stakeholders are under no need. They face a hostile environment of limitedobligation to implement it as emphasized in the employment options, unequal wages, bad worklabor policy. conditions, and an extra burden due to unremitting domestic responsibilities at home. This is true whether women perform agricultural wage labor inFemale Labor Participation the rural areas or piece-rate work in the cities. Even those in the formal sector are not free fromFemales have lesser access to education than their discrimination in the workplace and sexualmale counterparts. They also form a smaller harassment.amount of the labor force. According toInternational Labor Organization, in 2003-2004 the Pakistan is an Islamic country and many timesfemale labor participation rate in Pakistan was 11.2 religion is attributed as a reason for low femalepercent. This section will explore in detail the labor participation. I feel, however, that the lowreasons for low female labor participation. I will labor participation among females has more to doalso be discussing various issues, both social and with cultural factors than with religion. A statisticalinstitutional that affect these participation rates. comparison indicates the same hypothesis. Bangladesh, which is an Islamic country as well, has much higher female labor participation. AsDefinition of female labor participation compared to the anemic labor force participation of 11.2 percent in Pakistan in 2003-2004(Labor ForceAs in most developing countries, measuring the Survey, 2004), Bangladesh had a female participationextent of female labor force participation in rate of 57.6 percent (International LaborPakistan is sensitive to the definition of work used Organization, 2000)and the duration (a week, month, or year)considered. The measurement of male participationInsaf Research Wing Page 7
  8. 8. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistan Table-1 circumscribe women’s work options. The followingPakistan: Labour Force Participation Rate constraints are most common. • Social norms regarding suitability of particular 2001-02 2003-04 occupations in eyes of family members and employersFemale 9.9 11.2 • Work in non-farm sectors further away and in nearby urban centers is not acceptable as it isMale 48 48.7 perceived to be not compatible with domestic dutiesTotal 29.6 30.4 • Gendered work patterns keep women in low-Source: Labour Force Survey 2003-04 paying, low-status activities. • Restricted job options and low returns inhibit parental motivation to invest in their Table-2 education, particularly where resources are Bangladesh: Labour Force Participation limited. (Kazi 1999: 387-88, 410) Rate 1995 1996 2000 Formal sectorFemale 67.8 57.2 57.6 The society in Pakistan is male dominated and patriarchal. The culture is against working womenMale 88.9 89.8 89.2 who are viewed negatively by a large portion of society. Women, who work in the formal sector,Total 78.6 73.7 73.8 face harassment of various forms at the work place. Harassment at the workplace is not recognized as aSource: www.ilo.org punishable offence in Pakistan. A bill is pending at the legislature which will make it a punishable offense, with jail time of up to 3 months. Lack ofThe reason women are less dominant in even awareness about harassment and the fear offormal high paying jobs is the cultural constraint retaliation from co-workers and supervisors forcethat reinforces the traditional role of women as women to let many cases go unreported.home makers. Women usually work full time intheir homes, but this is not recorded in the labor Data on the number of women affected bymarket statistics. The low female labor participation harassment is hard to come by since there is no lawacts as a disincentive to invest in women’s under which cases can be registered. This meanseducation. Parents who lack resources prefer to that estimates are anecdotal at best. "I see about 50invest in a male child’s education over a female’s to 70 women per year," says Ambreen Ajaib, whoeducation, since he can participate in the labor has been working for three years as a psychologistmarket while she might not be able to. Women for victims of harassment at Bedari, a womenswho do work before marriage are sometimes rights NGO.barred from the workplace by their husband’sfamilies. This adds another element of uncertainty However, even she admits that such numbers maythat discourages employees from making any not reveal the actual situation since many womensignificant investments on women. The cause and are not willing to admit being targeted. "Its difficulteffect relationship between female education and to get exact figures because few women havelabor market participation is strong. Severing this access to us and because many women believe thatlink will be hard for the government but it is very the fault lies with them -- that a woman normallyimportant to break this perpetuating cycle that lures the man and that if she is dressed a certaindiscriminates against women. way she will be harassed and so on. Any woman who reports harassment always mentions what she was wearing." A woman’s sense of self is determined by societal rules, which are perceivedFactors That Determine What Kind of to endanger her family’s reputation. This reflectsWork Women Do how the culture and the society are reinforcingThere are various factors that influence a woman’s gender discrimination, reducing opportunities forchoice of occupation in Pakistan. Shahnaz women to participate in the labor market, andKazi(1999) researched the gender equities in placing them in precarious and vulnerable positions.Pakistan and explains that multiple constraintsInsaf Research Wing Page 8
  9. 9. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanIn the formal sector based in the urban areas, there improve their work conditions, 30 percent votedis an overwhelming concentration of women in for home-based workers’ unions (40 percent votedcertain sectors. Women tend to be concentrated in for a loan facility) and 65percent said they would bethe “respectable lines of teaching and medicine”. willing to make contributions for their benefit to aThese norms emphasize on “the low social status social security organization.of sales and secretarial jobs that involve contactwith men at a personal level.” (Kazi 1999: 391).This means that women who do not have the Difference between gender on wages,professional training to be a doctor or a teacher industry participatingend up in the informal sectors in home basedearning activities (409). The table below is taken from the Pakistan Labor Force survey of various years. It shows that women’s share in industry has grown by 3.8 percent between 2000 and 2008. Their share inWomen’s Employment Organizations and agriculture, however, has grown by a mere 0.1Trade Unions percent whereas their share in the service sectorThere are over seven thousand registered trade has fallen by 3.9 percent. Women’s share in theunions in Pakistan. The total male membership of labor force is the highest in the agriculture sector.reporting unions was around 245,400, while femalemembership was no more than 2,134 in 2002. Table-3 Federal Bureau of Statistics, Labor forceAmong registered trade unions, membership above Survey, Multiple yearsten thousand is only limited to theindustries of textile/hosiery,post/telecommunications, andchemicals/dyes (Federal Bureau ofStatistics 2005a: 255-6).There are currently trade unions inmajor government organizations, suchas the airlines, railways, post office,education institutions, hospitals, waterand the power developmentauthority. They all employ women, yetwomen do not have significantmembership or decision-makingpowers in these unions. At a recentmeeting with government, civil societyand labor stake-holders, one of the majorrecommendations by the female labor activists wasto increase the number of women workers in theindustry. This would ultimately lead to an increasednumber of women in trade unions, and to that end Economic Policy Reformsa specific quota was proposed for women in each In Siddiqui’s (2006: 3-4) study on women workers,industry as well as in trade unions. Another and the effects of stabilization and structuralrecommendation that was made called for trade adjustment programs in Pakistan, various findingsunions to include a specific clause in their come to light:constitutions to allow women key leadershippositions, and to provide an independent section • The country has experienced a slowerfor women to discuss their issues. (Ministry of growth rate of output, decliningLabour et al 2005: 26-7). employment, and a rise in poverty. • Expansion of female employment in theThe National Commission of Status of Women manufacturing sector is taking placesurvey of home-based workers in Pakistan finds outside the regular factory workforce, andthat although the majority of women say they are is mainly in the form of temporary andsatisfied with their work conditions, the leading contract workers. This reflects the lowcauses for dissatisfaction are related to low absorptive capacity of the large scaleearnings and low rates in the market. When asked industrial sector, and also indicates awhat kind of legal cover they would like to have, to deliberate policy by employers to exploitInsaf Research Wing Page 9
  10. 10. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistan female workers as a cheaper and more Many people argue that this gap is due to males pliable form of labor. having more skills and education than females. The • Female workers are concentrated in a few next figure refutes that claim. It shows the average occupations and industrial groups, and this real wage of the employees by aggregated major depresses their wages. They have low skills occupational groups. and less mobility, hence they have not increased their participation in the modern highly productive sector of the economy. Figure-2 Federal Bureau of Statistics, Labor force Survey, Multiple yearsIn rural areas, more women work thantheir urban counterparts, but the workis in agricultural lands and is oftenpoorly paid or paid in the form ofagricultural produce. Figure 1 is alsotaken from various labor force surveysacross the years and reveals that overtime the gender gap in laborparticipation is decreasing in rural andincreasing in urban areas.The findings suggest that the sectorswhich employ females are poorly paid,temporary, or involve contract basedwork with little chance of careerprogression. Figure-1 Federal Bureau of Statistics, Labor force Survey, Multiple years Figure 3 (next page) suggests that across all skill levels, females earn substantially less than males. The most striking comparison can be found between highly skilled males and females. A highly skilled female was being paid as much as a skilled or unskilled male would earn. This discrimination occurs across all levels of skills. Figure 4 (next page) shows the gender gap across various dimensions. Women have a low labor participation rate, a low employment to population ratio, a low share in non agricultural employment, a low share in wage and salaried employment, and a higher share in vulnerable employment. Women across all these dimensions are at a vulnerable position. Wage gaps between genderThe discussion so far has identified variousproblems women face when they enter the labormarket. This section will discuss the varying wagegaps among genders. The following Figure 2 showsthat the wage gap between males and femalescontinues to increase. Women, on average, earn 38percent less than their male counterparts.Insaf Research Wing Page 10
  11. 11. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistan Figure-3 Federal Bureau of Statistics, Labor force Survey, Multiple years Figure-4 International Labor Organization, 2009Insaf Research Wing Page 11
  12. 12. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanAccording to the World Bank’s World however, is that women remain tied to these lowDevelopment Report 2000/01, closing the gender paying jobs, relentlessly working on completinggap in schooling would have significantly increased, product orders, often with no career mobility.and sometimes more than doubled economicgrowth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), South Asia The sections above have explained vital labor issues(SA), and the Middle East and North Africa related to gender. Before I move on to the(MENA). Despite international declarations on recommendation, I would like to mention a fewgender equality, as, for example, in the Millennium encouraging facts about the status of women inDevelopment Goals2, only a few countries have Pakistan.actually achieved gender equality in primary andsecondary education. The differences are even There is a steadily increasing representation ofmore pronounced in higher education. In South women at the legislature. The quota for womenAsia and sub-Saharan Africa, for example, girls only seats currently stands at 33%. This will serve as amake up a third of the number of students in platform to introduce reforms that will positivelytertiary education. affect women. There has also been a rise in women NGOs that are actively fighting for laws againstEqually alarming are labor-market indicators, which harassment, discrimination and employment. Thisclearly highlight that countries do not adequately indicates that advocacy of such issues has increaseduse their available human resources, in particular substantially in Pakistan over the past few years.those of the female population. In many developingcountries, women’s economic activities aremarginalized to the informal sector, small-scalefarming and/or domestic work. Cases in point are RecommendationsSouth Asia and the Middle East and North Africa: in My recommendations in this section proposeboth regions, only around 20 percent of all wage institutional changes, increase in education and anemployment outside agriculture is held by women.3 increase in women entrepreneurship, if implemented correctly, could transform labor policy in Pakistan. Vocational training of womenVocational training available to women is limited in Changing social institutions isPakistan4. The government does not have a largeenough budget to cover vocational training for all cumbersome, but still possiblewomen. Various national and international NGOs A lot of countries are committed to change theare experimenting with various models to provide institutional frameworks that limit women’sthis training to women. Most of the NGOs teach employment and skills. These efforts are having theskills such as embroidery, stitching, embellishment, positive results. For example in Tunisia, 30-50etc. This model builds a centre near a rural village percent of judges, physicians and schoolteachersand equips it with basic tools such as sewing are now women. Similarly in India, women havemachines. Women trainers then teach the local risen to the highest levels of politics and business inwomen the skills required to start production. recent years. However, these are relatively rareThose trained can then choose to work from home cases, and such changes still face dire resistance.or from the centre. Such centers also build For example in India, still women are beingrelationships with boutiques, exporters of murdered over disputes about dowries.handicrafts and others outlets. In this way, they canprovide the local women with continuous demand In order to strengthen reforms, many developmentof their product. The advantage of this model is experts have called for more funding - for instance,that it requires low capital and is easy to replicate. to build more schools. This has to be accompaniedIt is also sustainable as women soon start learning by a strong advocacy campaign to promotefrom each other. The downside of this model, education and by addressing the fundamental causes of discrimination and low incentives for education.2 Extra spending, while badly needed, will generate MDGs or millennium Development goals are by the real returns only if the fundamental causes ofUnited Nations that member countries have discrimination are also addressed.committed to achieve3 http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/970 That may mean institutional and legal reforms as well as better enforcement of existing laws. The4 Interview with Kamilah Shahid, Khidmat harassment at work law should be introduced withFoundationInsaf Research Wing Page 12
  13. 13. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistandire penalties. This will provide women with the salaries, formalizing standard contracts for teachers,sense of security at workplace and reduce the and guaranteeing the provision of transport and daysocial disapproval of working women. care centers for female teachers. Incentives can be offered to teachers locating to a rural school inMany countries are willing to change, and most form of a better salary and a safe and improvedhave signed the 1979 UN Convention on the environment.Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination againstWomen and, more recently in 2000, the UNmillennium goal of empowering women and Make primary education free andcombating discrimination. Helping countries compulsory for both male and femaleimprove gender equality is therefore not only studentsimportant to the government for increased growthbut it is an international commitment as well. While If education were free and compulsory, moreassistance of international organizations is parents would send their girls to school. Theencouraged, lasting change has to be come from government should ensure that not only are schoolwithin communities themselves. fees covered, but that girls from low income families receive free text books, uniforms, transportation and daily lunch. This strategy has Address the Education needs of women been successful in other countries in the region. For example, the people of Sri Lanka have been enjoying free education for the last 50 years. As a The Government of Pakistan 5 should result, Sri Lanka has seen remarkable advancements spend more on education in human development, in spite of internal conflictsCurrently, the government of Pakistan is spending and political upheavals. Also, the governmentabout 2 percent of the GNP on education. This is should introduce flexible school timings and region-insufficient, given the educational needs of the specific school calendars in order to cater tocountry. The government must commit to allocate children who work to supplement their familya higher percentage to the education sector, and to income. This should specifically apply to girls whoproportionally allocate this to various sub-sectors are engaged in household or farm work duringof education, especially women’s education. The typical school hours.new National Education Policy of 2009 has madestrong commitments and policy recommendationsfor such steps. Immediate implementation of these The government should improvewill help Pakistan get closer to achieving the advocacy and outreach to promoteEducation For All goals and Millennium female educationDevelopment Goals. A recent analysis of budgetand public sector expenditure on education has To win supporters, the government should conductrevealed that spending on education has actually a campaign on television and radio to highlight thedeclined during 2007-2009, which is a matter of importance of education for both girls and boys,great concern. and should encourage parents to send their children, especially girls, to school. Such advocacy can help address and change the cultural norms and the traditional mindset that many people have. The government and the international Under the devolution plan of 2002, citizen NGOs should collaborate to build more community boards are formed to monitor schools and train more teachers community progress. Such boards are elected andThe government of Pakistan needs to take can also be assigned the task to improve advocacypragmatic steps to ensure a sufficient number of and outreach campaign to increase womenschools for both males and females, and a sufficient participation in education.number of trained teachers (again, both male andfemale), especially in rural areas. Ensuring anadequate number of teachers requires increasing Establish an independent monitoring and evaluation mechanism to oversee5 In Pakistan only the federal government has the education deliveryauthority to tax its citizen hence an active role offederal government is emphasized in all these A monitoring and evaluation mechanism should berecommendations. In Pakistan there is no local or established for the elimination of corrupt elementsschool taxes and the revenue is distributed by the and practices from the education system.Thefederal government.Insaf Research Wing Page 13
  14. 14. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanDistrict Community Office (DCO) should be of successful women entrepreneurs to serve as roleassigned responsibility to monitor quality and models for the next generations.infrastructure of schools. A separate monitoringcell should be placed under the Ministry ofEducation to periodically monitor public schools. Establishing/strengthening women’sThis will help make non-functional schools to business forumfunction efficiently, particularly in remote, ruralareas of the country. The small numbers of women’s business forums that exist in Pakistan have extremely limitedThe recommendations above address both the outreach and offer few quality services. They dodemand and supply side. The supply side strategy is not exist as institutions but as personalities: theyto focus on the availability of schools and female have limited membership and confined regionalteachers, whereas the demand side considers outreach. This explains why no such business forumvarious initiatives to increase demand. has emerged as a national lobby group for women entrepreneurs. Currently there is an urgent need to assist self-sustaining institutions, and to associate them with the regional Chambers of Commerce Develop Entrepreneurial Opportunities and the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan and for Women other national forums. Promotion of Small Medium Enterprises The public banks in Pakistan and theThere are a small number of federal and provincial financial NGOs should develop andinstitutions working specifically for the enhance Microfinance institutionsdevelopment of SMEs. These institutions usually do Micro financing is increasingly seen as a way tonot reach out to women entrepreneurs; their empower women in developing countries by theoperations are normally targeted at businessmen, international organizations. After the success ofespecially since business is generally considered a Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, many countries havemale domain in Pakistan. SMEDA or small medium experimented with the model. One suchenterprise development agency, a federal institution organization that is working in Pakistan is calleddedicated to providing enterprise development KASHF. Its goal is to empower women by providingservices, should undertake research that identifies financial assistance to them. Such organizations cangaps and distortions in existing services that could make a great difference in the lives of women, butbe rectified in future operations. SMEDA should they need to have an effective follow-up strategy onalso be given grant money by the federal their clients, and strong accountability to ensuregovernment to assist women in setting up small and that the funds are used to assist businesses andmedium sized businesses. investments, rather than being used on operational expenses. Currently, KASHF is only working in one province of Pakistan (Punjab). This model can be The International Donor agencies can adopted by the public banks and other financial create Entrepreneurship development NGOs to remove the roadblock of limited finance programs for potential women out of the way for women. The loans can have entrepreneurs other preconditions attached to them as well. For instance, such loans will only be given to women orA multilateral arrangement should be formed which they must enroll their female children in schools inincludes the International Labor Organization as a order to qualify for such loans. The provision ofconsultant, a donor agency such as the Asian loans can create an incentive to achieve positiveDevelopment Bank for funding, and Pakistani social results.government institutions as executing agencies tointroduce entrepreneurial vocational training towomen..The probability of doing business increasessignificantly for Pakistani women if they have Conclusionacquired formal education. At present, however, This paper presents the background to the genderthere are very few women entrepreneurs in the issues that are present in the Pakistani society andlabor market who possess such education. A pilot how they impact the labor market in the country.project can be launched for a selected group of 25 Needless to say, the government of Pakistan needsbusinesswomen in each of the four provinces of to end disparities and discrimination, and form aPakistan. This program would prepare a new group national agenda to assist women participation in theInsaf Research Wing Page 14
  15. 15. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in Pakistanlabor market. A strong commitment is requiredfrom the government and the international donorsto change the social structure of genderdiscrimination in the labor force. Therecommendations mentioned above are notexhaustive but they are important guidelines for theformation of a labor policy that will enddiscrimination and encourage labor participation forwomen.Insaf Research Wing Page 15
  16. 16. Committee on Socio-Political Labor Policy in PakistanBibliography Pakistan. Finance Division (Economic AdvisorsAbbas, N. "Sexual Harassment in Wing). Economic Survey 1994-95. 1995. Print.Pakistan." Huffington Post 2009. Print. Pakistan. Finance Division (Economic AdvisorsKazi, Shahnaz. "Gender Inequalities and Wing). Economic Survey 2005-06. 2006. Print.Development in Pakistan." 50 Years of Pakistan’sEconomy: Traditional Topics and Contemporary Pakistan. Finance Division (Economic AdvisorsConcerns. Karachi: Oxford UP, 199. 376-414. Print. Wing). Economic Survey, Statistical Supplement 1999-2000. 2000. Print.Khan, Ayesha. "Women and the PakistanGovernment: A Brief Policy History (1975-1998)." Pakistan. Finance Division (Ministry ofGender Unit, UNDP, 1998. Web. Finance). Economic Survey, Statistical Supplement 1986-87. 1987. Print.Khan, Shujaat Ali. "Karachi: SHC Moved against Banon Teachers’ Union." Dawn 2006. Print. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. How Do Women Decide to Work in Pakistan? By Zareen"Labour Force Survey 1999-2000." ILO. 2000. Web. Naqvi and Shahnaz Lubna. Islamabad, 2002. Print."Labour Force Survey 2000-2002." ILO. 2002. Web. Pakistan. Ministry of Women Development. Pakistan National Report: BeijingMinistry of Health. Government of Pakistan. Web. +10. 2005. Print.<www.phc.gov.pk>. Pakistan. Ministry Women Development. NationalMinistry of Labour (Government of Pakistan), Plan of Action. 2006. Print.International Labour Organization, and CanadianInternational Development Agency. Report on Pakistan. Pakistan Economic Survey 2003-2004.National Tripartite Stakeholders Consultation on 2004. Print.Women Employment Concerns and WorkingConditions. Islamabad: (WEC-PK) Project, 2005. World Bank. Pakistan Country Gender AssessmentPrint. 2005: Bridging the Gender Gap - Opportunities and Challenges. Washington, DC, 2005. Print.Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFFRON),Population Census Organization, and UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR). Census of Afghans in Pakistan 2005.Islamabad, 2005. Print. About the Author Amna Khan holds her Masters in Social andNational Commission on the Status of Women, and Economic Policy from University of Texas atPakistan Manpower Institute (Labour Manpower Austin. She is a researcher and a consultant.and Overseas Pakistanis Division). National Survey Currently, she is teaching at a private university.Report on Home-based Women Workers inPakistan. Islamabad, 2005. Print. e-mail: amnakhan87@hotmail.comPakistan. Alliance Against Sexual Harassment at theWorkplace. Situational Analysis on SexualHarassment at the Work Place. Lahore, 2002. Print."Pakistan Employment Trend for Women." ILO.Web. 209.Pakistan. Federal Bureau of Statistics. Compendiumof Gender Statistics in Pakistan, Based on 2004Data. 2005. Print.Pakistan. Federal Bureau of Statistics. StatisticalYearbook 2005. 2005. Print.Insaf Research Wing Page 16

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