Islamabad - The government has proposed an amount of Rs 2.7 billion proposed for women empowerment, and their socio-economic development during the Five Year Plan period from 2013-18.

Education, employment and access to information are key parameters, which reflect an overall status of women in the social context. The empowerment of a woman is dependent on her participation in household decision-making, mobility, ownership of property and freedom to spend and her role as a decision-maker in the society, 11th Five Year Plan data revealed. The female labour participation rate is about 22.7 per cent against 83.3 per cent male participation in country production.

The prevalence of gender inequality in labour force participation leads to economic disempowerment of women in their families and at the national level. In the public sphere, majority of women work as unpaid family labour in agriculture and hold low paid, low skill jobs, at the lowest tier of the industrial labour force in the urban areas.

Occupational segregation characterises that women are concentrated in certain sectors (agriculture, services) and within the sector hold lower positions. Women, who are counted as employed include employees, self-employed, unpaid family helpers and generally engaged in low-skilled and low-wage economic activities. More than half of women earn less than 60 per cent income as compared to men. Bulk of female labour force is engaged in informal sector and still requires legal protection and effective implementation of the labour welfare policies.

In the urban informal sector, 67.5 per cent women work in diverse manufacturing sector mostly as home-based or casual workers on exploitative wages or employed as domestic workers on extremely low remuneration. The major challenges faced to improve standard of women empowerment in the country were weak law enforcement impeding realisation of equal rights for women. While non-recognition of women’s work in the rural setup and informal sector in the Gross Development Production, lack of access to resources, facilities and entitlements - economic, social and political are also major hindrances.

Ineffective representation of the women issues and concerns in the policy-formulation and implementation processes, besides exclusion of the gender consciousness in hard sectors also decreases pace of women progress.


Dimensions of gender gap in education, health and restriction on mobility and inadequate health and reproductive outcomes besides lack of awareness among women regarding the Disaster Risk Reduction also reduce the productivity of women in national progress.