There is a quote from game of thrones Jon snow says “We can’t defend the north when only half the population is fighting.” I mention this quote because that’s what we are doing. Not defending the north but attempting to bring our economy back at its feet at a time when half of our population isn’t fighting. According to a study conducted in 2017, Pakistani population consists of 51% men 49.7% women and 0.3% transgender. But labour force contribution is 77% men and only 22% women.
Pakistan has untapped workforce in form of women who are often ignored and in worst cases are kept home even after gaining necessary education. It is our moral and social responsibility not to keep women at bay but to make them active part of our society.
There is a huge under-utilised and untapped labour force of women for organisations to take advantage of. It’s not some corporate social responsibility or creating a good image and diversified image of any organisation. Actually women perform better than men in a number of fields but aren’t giving certain opportunities due to – mostly – cultural reasons. I won’t say religious because we mix culture with religion.
In medical, it is also feared that almost 50% of female students never work after completing their education that s the half the doctors who don’t work even after the government provides them with subsidy as well as women perform better even in 2019 merit test women performed better.
In a country like Pakistan we produce only 14000 doctors a year and that ‘s hugely less than we need also we need more female doctors and nurses for attending women especially in maternity cases in areas such as Thar and other remote areas as well urban areas.
There have been increasing child deaths and also deaths of women while giving birth because there are basically no female doctors in hospitals in remote areas. Government spends Rs2.4 million on every student which for sure is a lot of money. But this goes in vain when future doctors sit at home.
Every healthy economy has a large number of middle-class and basically in Pakistan we have either an elite class or lower class. Statistics have shown that Pakistan is second only to Afghanistan in this region with the lowest female labour force which tells a lot about what needs to be done.
Financial instability of women does create many domestic issues as well and all these issue trickle down to effect the economy in the end as these issues creates an unhappy labour force which leads to low productivity.
Most of the women are employed in domestic household works or nannies or domestic help and all these are in the informal economy or we can also say unregulated economy. And surprisingly Pakistan’s informal economy has grown to be nearly half of its formal economy. It also includes a large part of tax-evaders. Needing to bring this informal economy in the formal is a tough but a necessary task.
Importance of women teachers can also not be left behind. This occupation is already dominated by women but that is where it ends. Women in rural areas are in dire need of higher education. Women teachers are hesitant to allow girls to be taught by male teachers in high school.
Maybe this issue should be the centerpiece of the next ‘Aurat March’ and not ‘khana khud garam kar lo’ because a microwave oven could solve the latter but we need proper policies and need to educate the country about the former.