Gender equality: an economic necessity

Farakh Shahzad – Pakistan Today – Wednesday, 22 February 2012 (originally published 19 Feb)

Graphic illustration of scale weighing a man and a woman
Image: Pakistan Today

Pakistan has a population of about 180 million, over half of which are women. Keeping in view the 51 per cent of the total population, it is a smart economics to ensure gender equality as a guarantee towards economic self reliance. By neglecting majority of the segment from the economic mainstream cannot produce better economic outcomes in this generation and the future. Social scientists are unanimous that implementation of gender equality has the potential and dynamics to double the GDP from four to eight per cent that is no less achievement in the current global scenario. For that matter, all you have to do is change the centuries old social misperceptions ingrained in the society. It is an undeniable fact that women in Pakistan remain at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

Femininity is measured to be the essential concern in the process of socio-economic infrastructure development. Therefore, investment in women’s empowerment in Pakistan is the key factor in improving the economic, political and social conditions in Pakistan. Hence, decision making processes for women empowerment; valuation planning and policy formulation should emphasis on main streaming gender equality around Pakistan.

Women empowerment is not limited to control over imitation or financial freedom only, rather it is a grouping of literacy, employment and health. Women empowerment is an important and functional concept in the development of a community as it represents women as active agents rather than inactive recipients of development policies . . .

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