By: AMIN AHMED
ISLAMABAD: Women in Pakistan face numerous barriers to work, with limits on mobility and family responsibilities most often cited as important to the decision not to work, says a new study released by the Asian Development Bank.
Their job access is limited by social norms restricting how a woman may travel or appear in public, according to the synthesis report, titled “Female labour force participation in Asia — Constraints and Challenges”, which covered Pakistan, South Korea, Indonesia and China.
According to the study, female labour force participation (FLFP) in Pakistan, Indonesia and China is higher in rural areas than in cities, although this is often driven by unpaid family work in agriculture.
Restrictions on women’s mobility appear to be a major factor contributing to gender disparities in economic outcomes in Pakistan.
Women at higher levels of education who work outside the home earn more than twice as much as those who work at home. While women’s education is rising, its benefits can only be fully realised if women are able to work in jobs that fully utilise their skills, the study emphasises.