LAHORE: The national economy is experiencing an annual loss of 0.7% because of low participation of women in the economy and this also makes the females heavily dependent on their families.
This issue was highlighted by participants of a seminar on ‘Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit’, organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) here on Wednesday.
On the occasion, leading businesswomen delivered speeches, followed by interactive sessions with girl students from many universities.
The speakers pointed out that because of low participation of women in the economy, there were minimum opportunities for them. They said majority of the women were not part of the financial sector, making it unlikely for them to secure loans from financial institutions.
Similarly, literacy rate for women was substantially lower at 39% compared to 63% for men, which also kept low women’s contribution to the national economy.
The speakers said only 17% of the labour force comprised women compared to 83% for men while women earned 70% less than that earned by men for equal work. This came despite women having a larger share of 51.23% in the population against 48.77%
Highlighting the limited health facilities for women, the speakers stressed that women had a very low health status with high mortality rates. Every 20 minutes a woman dies from preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth and only 40% of births are attended by skilled professionals.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2012.