Problems faced by rural women in Pakistan

In Pakistan, women are destitute from basic rights. Several complexes yet inter connected institutionalized social and cultural factors have kept women particularly vulnerable the violence directed at them in different ways.

> Women are concentrated in the agriculture sector, primarily in diary and livestock. The returns to labor are low: only 19% are in paid employment and 60% work as unpaid workers on family farms and enterprises. Their unpaid work is valued (using comparative median wages) at PKR 683 billion, is 57% of all work done by women, and is 2.6% of GDP.

> College education is a catalyst for women to enter into the formal, paid employment. 4% rural women have college degrees, and 57% of them are employed, primarily as teachers.

> The gendered division of labor (women included in, transplanting, weeding, cotton picking, vegetable and wheat harvesting, care and management of livestock) is a barrier to women’s access to technologies, training, or microfinance. Very few women are entrepreneurs in Pakistan (1%); 20% of rural women are classified as own account workers (14% in agriculture and 6% in non-agriculture work). Women’s work as dairy farmers, vegetable producers etc. is not addressed.

> Once the backbone of the economy, contributing almost 40% of Pakistan’s GDP, agriculture now accounts for approximately 20% of the GDP, employing 42% of the labor forces (50% in rural areas, of which 28% is female).

Improving women’s access to agricultural inputs, using simple technologies to connect them to markets and information sources, expanding financial inclusion through mobile wallets and branchless banking, and removing conventional barrier to accessing credit (such as collateral, male guarantor etc.) adds value to women’s work. Skills trainings outreach and content, has to shift from its current focus on women’s reproductive roles and view them as major contributors to the economy. Climate Change Policy must be gender sensitive and nuanced to cater to the diverse geographic and topographic areas of Pakistan and the livelihoods of the communities therein. Women should be facilitated in growing new crops which are more resilient towards climate change, particularly in floods prone areas. The Environment Policy should be updated to reflect changes and to suggest actions for managing environmental changes due to climate change.

Gender and Environment

First of All, we must know WHAT IS GENDER? So Gender is another word for Women. Gender is about both men and women, their sociality defined roles, responsibilities and the power and other relations between them. Looking at gender in the Sustainable Development Sectors means “accessing males and females different needs and the services and other benefits of each sector as well as different barriers to their access, mobility, and economic responsibilities.


(Muhammad Ali Jinnah)

The planet is the fundamental resource on which people rely for prosperity. GENDER NORMS INFLUENCE THE IMPACT OF PEOPLE ON THE ENVIRONMENT. In recent years, the relationship between gender and the environment has become more explicit and apparent. Women’s work is often linked to the environment through agriculture, domestic chores and hired work such as sowing and weeding. Globally women provide a livelihood for their families and simultaneously manage the environment. However, due to gender power relations, their knowledge is often overlooked and they are not counted as agents of change. Therefore, a gender analysis must be done. Women and men should be agents in environmental management including equal participation in decision making and policy processes.


(Hillary Clinton)

The relationship between women and nature is not recent. Gender equality is an essential building block in Sustainable Development. Indeed, none of the Three Pillars of Sustainable Development which are: 1) Environmental protection, 2) Economic Well-being and 3) Social equity, can be achieved without solving the prevailing problem of gender inequality.

A question rises like “Why we must focus on the relation between Gender And Sustainable Development of the Environment?” So the answer can be given saying that Gender equality promotes Development. Gender disparities are the barriers to development imposing a heavy cost on society in terms of reduced growth and lower poverty reduction. Moreover, addressing

Gender differences and reducing gender disparities through sustainable development projects can improve development effectiveness and sustainability. In most cases, women are more negatively impacted due to socio-cultural and economic factors. Basically, the global statistics place women behind the men in relation to health, education, nutrition levels, legal rights, equal pay for equal work and many other aspects of life. The obstacles to women’s full participation in sustainable development include 1) Constitutional factors, 2) Cultural social, behavioral factors and 3) Economic factors. Violence and Discrimination are continued. Thousands of women are burned to death due to dowry disputes. Physical abuse, selective abortion, literacy and much more incidents are faced by women. But why? Why are women subjected to such incidents? Women must be given equal space and reputation in the world as men because women make essential contributions to economic development, household income in the world of work. They are shouldering the double burden of work hours outside and inside the home. Up to 90% of house workers now are women and “TWO INCOMES ARE VITAL TO PULL A FAMILY OUT OF POVERTY”.


                                         (MICHELLE BACHELET)




Gender can be defined as the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Gender roles as “Socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers suitable for men and women”.

Gender equality, also known as sexual equality.

    It is the state of equal relieve of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender.

    Including economic contribution and decision-making.

    The state of valuing diverse behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender.

A research done on gender portrays that female science teachers perceiving greater collegiality among teachers, higher gender equity among students, and stronger professional interest, and with male science teachers perceiving lower work pressure and better teacher-student relations. And it was concluded that the Gender differences in science teachers’ perceptions of collegiality, work pressure, and gender equity in the school environment persisted even after controlling for teachers’ backdrop and school characteristics.

The major issues women face in this era and before:

    Farming and Agriculture.

    Land ownership and management.

    Women’s property status.

    Man’s violent nature towards her.

    Harassment.


– The encouragement of women’s right on the ground of the equality of the sexes-


(Malala Yousafzai)


(Margaret Thatcher)

What is Transgender?

“Transgender is also a separate gender in which one is confused in his/her identity that differs from their assigned sex.”

  • Over 10,000 Trans-genders are present in Pakistan.
  • 1.4 million All over the globe.

Efforts that prohibit employment discrimination based on factors:

  • Race or sexual orientations require certain organizational changes.
  • Creating a transgender-inclusive workplace requires organizational changes (including personnel, policy, legal, and medical issues unique to transgender people.)


    Recommendations are made to improve the implementation and enforcement of transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws and transgender-inclusive environment.

    For females, we have to develop a society in which violence and inhumane behaviors must not be tolerated under the provision of laws.

    For males, we need to lower down the financial burden and provide increased incentives with less work.


Gender and Environment

There is a general misunderstanding regarding what we have a tendency to mean after we refer to gender and environment. Gender mainstreaming refers to a policy of reflecting gender in all policies and programs and to examine the consequences of decisions on ladies and men. The subject of Gender and environment is way over gender mainstreaming.

The discussion of Gender and environment relies on 2 precepts:

  1. That gender mediates human/environment interactions and all environmental use, knowledge, and assessment; and
  2. That gender roles, responsibilities, expectations, norms, and also the division of labor shape all styles of human relationships to the environment.

When addressing gender in the context of the environment, it is important to recognize that women and men are not homogenous groups. Where women and men live, their age, social class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other variables, interact in shaping the links between gender and the environment. This complexity must be accounted for in participation, needs analysis and programed design.

A gender analysis of environmental work should cover the following categories:

  1. Formal and informal constraints: Rules and norms that shape the behavior of male and female in society, gender relations and identities.
  2. Division of labor: The tasks and responsibilities that men and women are expected to fulfil in private and public arenas.
  3. Access to and control over resources: The resources, in a broad sense, that men and women have access to and power to decide over.

Why all time this happened to the female gender? There are some

  1. Causes of Gender Inequality:
  • Patriarchy
  • Discriminatory fosterage of children by parents
  • Illiteracy
  • Sociocultural and Religious Influence

There are some Facts Figures:

  • Women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77% of their male counterparts’ earning
  • 62 million girls are denied an education all over the world
  • At least 1000 honor killings occur in India and Pakistan each annually
  • 1 in 3 women experienced physical violence at some point in their life
  • Each minute, 28 girls are married before they are ready

Some solutions for handling Gender Inequality:

  • Equal treatment of children by parents regardless of their gender
  • Eradicating patriarchy
  • Equal Educational Opportunities for children
  • Instilling the notion of gender equality into kids at a tender age