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.