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Female unemployment rate decreased in three provinces

NFWP lags behind; out of 25pc labour force, 80pc from rural areas Women’s participation out of proportion with their share in population

KARACHI – The female unemployment has decreased in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, however, in NWFP province it has increased in last few years due to number of reasons, State Bank of Pakistan stated this in annual report 2006-07.

State Bank has not mentioned the reasons of increased unemployment of the female in conservative province of NWFP but it has discussed in detail about the decreasing unemployment in other three provinces.
Giving the references of government reports, the annual report of State bank of Pakistan said that the unemployment rate among females dropped from 12.8 percent in 2004 to 9.4 percent in 2006. It is surprising to note that the biggest drop in the female employment was recorded in Balochistan, which came down to 7.1 percent in 1006 from 29.2 percent in 2004, report claimed.

Giving the detail of female unemployment in the country Central Bank said the gender wise distribution reflects that female participation in the labour force is significantly low despite the fact that they repre­sent 49.6 per cent of the total population.

According to the data, the fe­male constitute 25 per cent (10.08 million out 50 million) of the labour force. Out of this, the total female labour force, 80.36 per cent are from rural area while 19.64 per cent belong to urban areas, SBP added.

“Province wise data depicts females from Punjab forms the largest component, 76 per cent, of the labour force followed by Sindh 11.41 per cent, NWFP 10 per cent and Balochistan 2.5 per cent”, SBP observed and added, the majority of the female are associated with the agriculture sector followed by teaching, medicine and domestic helpers. Similarly, 11.1-percentage point drop was observed in Sindh during these two years. In Pun­jab, the female unemployment dropped by 2.7 percentage points during 2004-06, however, NWFP was the only province where female unemployment increased by 0.8 percentage points and was recorded at 30 per cent during 2006, SBP report maintained.

SBP has not discussed the rea­sons of increased unemployment of females in NWFP, governed by religious parties’ alliance MMA government during these years.

While talking to The Nation the independent economists said the worsening law and order situation due to war against terrorism, increasing Talibanization and its own conservative way of life were the reasons of in­creased female unemployment in NWFP.

State bank report supposed the government had taken a number of initiatives that include encouraging females to come to non-traditional jobs such as traffic police warden Air Force pilots etc. In addition, Khushhali Bank and other micro finance institutions in the country are extending loans to women. These are positive developments, however, a lot remains to be done to improve the working conditions for the female labour force, SBP remarked.

SBP report said the employment situation in Pakistan had improved over the last three years. However, further measures are required to make this abundant labour an asset. In this regard, enhancement in vocation al and technical competence of the workforce, promotion of SME sector training of displaced workers, setting up of public employment services and support for women entrepreneurship development would be steps in the right direction.

The agriculture sector em­ployed 21 million people in the year 2006; SBP report said and added the decline in the share of agriculture in total employment is consistent with the changing rural-urban structure of the population. Share of the urban population, which constituted 30.8 per cent in 1991, increased to 34 per cent in 2005.

Other sectors significant in terms of creating additional jobs include electricity and gas, trade and transport sector. As compared to 1990’s job growth in all the said sectors remained strong during 2001-06, SBP report observed.

The incremental job growth remained 2 million in agriculture, 2.2 million in manufacturing, 0.7million in construction, 1.8 million in trade, 0.8 million in transports, 0.05 million in electricity and gas distribution and others recorded 1.61 million during 2001-06, SBP report maintained.
Source: The Nation