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“Internet is more accommodating for women who cannot go to workplaces due to different restrictions,” Professor Shahida Wizarat, Head of Economics Department at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), said while speaking at a women empowerment event titled ‘Gender and Trade Conference: Closing the Gender Gap – A Tool for Economic and Trade Development in Pakistan’.
Other than economic benefits, technology and internet boom have empowered women by facilitating remote jobs and increasing overall female employment, experts said on Tuesday.
The two-day event was arranged by the Pakistan Women Entrepreneurs Network for Trade (Pakistan WE-NET) and the World Bank Group.
“Female labour force participation in Pakistan is 11% in urban areas and 33% in rural areas,” World Bank Group Senior Economist Yoon Cho stated during her presentation.
“Moreover, 17% males and 60% females in rural areas are employed without pay while the figures in urban areas are 7% males and 14% females.”
Despite the progress in female education, large variations remain across the provinces which hinder female participation in the economy, she added.
Cho said 40.2% of unmarried women and 27.73% of married women in the prime age bracket of 25 to 34 years were part of the workforce.
Transport, household responsibilities and childcare are major bottlenecks in developing countries which hinder female participation in the workforce.
“Women are an important source of human capital and should receive skills training, counseling and mentoring for easing their entry into modern industries,” Cho added, adding access to finance, professional networks and knowledge-sharing also needed to be increased.
“Economic policies, including trade policies, are powerful instruments for translating gender equality aspirations into reality,” World Bank Group Finance and Competitiveness Director Zoubaida Allaoua stated