Sunday, August 23, 2020

Pakistan Gig Economy: Women Freelancers Earning 10% More Than Men

A global survey conducted by Payoneer, a global payments platform company based in Silicon Valley, shows that Pakistani women freelancers are earning $22 an hour, 10% more than the $20 an hour earned by men. While Pakistani male freelancers earnings are at par with global average, Pakistani female earnings are higher than the global average for freelancers. Digital gig economy is not only helping women earn more than men but it is also reducing barriers to women's labor force participation in the country. The survey also concludes that having a university degree does not help you earn more in the growing gig economy. The survey was conducted in 2015.

Freelancers Hourly Rate by Gender. Source: Payoneer

An average Pakistani freelancer working 34 hours a week at $20 an hour earns $34,000 a year, or Rs. 5.7 million a year, a small fortune for a young Pakistani. This is one of the upsides of the online global labor market for skilled young men and women in developing nations like Pakistan. Sometimes freelancing experience leads to tech startups in Pakistan.

Another interesting survey finding is that freelancers with a university degree earn about 10% less on average than those with just the high-school diploma. This indicates that the freelancers skills matter more than the level of formal education.

Average Hourly Rate by Education. Source: Payoneer

Payoneer surveyed 23,000 freelancers worldwide, including emerging markets such as Pakistan, the Philippines and the Ukraine. Survey respondents comprise a random sample of Payoneer’s cross-border payment platform users, providing unique insights into how these globally-enabled freelancers operate, what makes them successful and what rates they command.

Freelancers Average Work Week. Source: Payoneer 

Pakistani freelancers worked about 34 hours a week, a little less than the 36 hours global average. Indian freelancers log 37.4 hours a week and Bangladeshis 35.9 hours weekly. Freelancers from Kenya average the highest amount of hours per week (42.6) with Egypt coming in second (38.5). Professionals working in Morocco and Tunisia work the fewest hours per week, potentially as a high percentage of them are also working at companies as well

Pakistan's digital gig economy growth is the fastest in Asia and fourth fastest in the world, according to digital payments platform Payoneer.

Gig Economy Growth in Q2/2019. Source: Payoneer
United States led gig economy growth of 78% followed by the United Kingdom 59%, Brazil 48%, Pakistan 47% and Ukraine 36%. Asia growth was led by Pakistan followed by Philippines (35%) , India  (29%) and Bangladesh (27%).

The rapid gig economy expansion of 47% in Pakistan  was fueled by several factors including the country's very young population 70% of which is under 30 years of age coupled with improvements in science and technical education and expansion of high-speed broadband access.  Pakistani freelancers under the age of 35 generated 77% of the revenue in second quarter of 2019.

Growth in Freelance Work. Source: Payoneer

Mohsin Muzaffar, head of business development at Payoneer in Pakistan, has said as follows: "Government investment in enhancing digital skills has helped create a skilled freelancer workforce while blanket 4G coverage across Pakistan has given freelancers unprecedented access to
international jobs".

Global Freelance Revenue By Age. Source: Payoneer. 


In Q2/2019, Asia cemented its status as a freelancer hub.  Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, Philippines made it to the  top 10 list, collectively recording 238% increase from Q2/2018.


Online Labor Index. Source: Oxford Internet Institute

Silicon Valley based global payments platform Payoneer's global survey results on freelancing show that Pakistani women freelancers are earning $22 an hour, 10% more than the $20 an hour earned by men. While Pakistani male freelancers earnings are at par with global average, Pakistani female earnings are higher than the global average for freelancers.   The survey also concludes that having a university degree does not help you earn more in growing gig economy. The survey was conducted in 2015. As of 2017, Pakistan freelancers ranked fourth in the world and accounted for 8.5% of the global online workforce, according to Online Labor Index compiled by Oxford Internet Institute. India led with 24% share followed by Bangladesh 16%, US 12%, Pakistan 8.5% and Philippines 6.5%.

Related Links:

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Pakistan's Sadia Zahidi Leads WEF Gender Equity Effort

Brothers From Rural Pakistan Teaching AI to American High Schoolers

Pakistan's Computer Services Exports Jump 26% Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Pakistan Gig Economy Among World's Fastest Growing

Digital BRI and 5G in Pakistan

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistan EdTech and FinTech Startups

State Bank Targets Fully Digital Economy in Pakistan

Campaign of Fear Against CPEC

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

E-Commerce in Pakistan

The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

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Belt Road Forum 2019

Fiber Network Growth in Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


6 comments:

Rashid A. said...

Freelancing is amazing.

It is a very good way for young persons to make a very very good earnings.

I just spoke with a young man who finished a college degree, but does not have a job, who will go for masters. He told me he is freelancing and made rupees 110,000 this month!

This is simply work on his computer, working from home and to make it more amazing, he did not take any special English language classes, just what the college and university teach in regular system. May be he is talented in writing.

I visited him last year and he did have good language skill.

But making over 100,000 rupees a month for intellectual work is better than many technical jobs.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Gig Economy Helps Smash Obstacles To Women Working
In a country with one of the lowest rates of female participation in the labor market, the digital economy is enabling some women to become breadwinners

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gig-economy-pakistan_n_5ad9e8ffe4b03c426dadba73


When 28-year-old Dr. Aqsa Sultan was nine months pregnant with her first child, she decided to leave her job at a cardiology institute in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi to be a stay-at-home mom.

But she felt a twinge of resentment watching her husband, also a doctor, go to work each day to treat patients. “I was going through an identity crisis,” Sultan says. “After a while, I got fed up and I wanted to do something to be back in the field.”

Sultan found a way to practice medicine from home. DoctHERs, a telemedicine platform in Pakistan, connects unemployed or underemployed female doctors like Sultan to patients in remote areas. Despite having one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world, pressure to prioritize families over careers means that around half of female medical school graduates never enter the workforce.

----------------

Most salons only pay a fixed salary of around $150 a month, Ismail says, regardless of the number of customers. “In my salon job, even if I put more work into the job, my salary was the same at the end of the month,” Asif says. “Here, if I put in more work, I get paid more; if I put in less, I get less. It’s fair.”

Still, while GharPar has enabled women to become breadwinners, not all men have approved of women in their household taking the lead economic role. “Male members of the family think: ‘If my wife or daughter becomes financially independent, I won’t be able to control her,’” Ismail says.

For this reason, many of the freelance beauticians GharPar contracts have their husband or a brother drive them to a client’s house. “The men see it as a family business where they’re also stakeholders,” says GharPar co-founder Arooj Ismail.

Ultimately, according to women like Asif, the gig economy’s flexible, part-time work model — long derided as precarious and exploitative in West — may prove beneficial, accommodating dual mother/worker roles and allowing women to join the labor force at times when they would usually drop out to concentrate on their families.

“After getting married, I wasn’t working at all because I had a child,” says Asif. Today, she typically sees two to three clients a day and juggles parenting and work. “I don’t need to ask anyone for money because I earn my own money.”

“The entire purpose was to give economic independence,” Shameelah Ismail says. “If we want the economy to boom, we need to tap the women. When they see their mothers are the ones earning and the main breadwinners, their mindsets change. They are more open to women working, and the entire society changes.”

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Riaz Haq said...

Most young Pakistanis opting to go freelance: report
Ramsha Jahangir


https://www.dawn.com/news/1533714

Most Pakis­tanis under the age of 35 (90per cent) are opting to go into freelance work — more than the global average of 70pc, according to a report released by the digital payment company Payoneer.

The report titled ‘Freelancer Income Report 2020’ is based on a survey of over 7,000 freelancers from 150 countries, including emerging markets such as Pakistan.

Payoneer says more people (75pc) are going freelance full-time due to income satisfaction.

Freelancing’s popularity is attributed to the potential for greater job opportunity, independence, higher income and a promising move in the direction of wage equality.

Men and women in Pakistan selected web and graphic design as the most popular freelancing field.

In terms of advertising on social media, Pakistani freelancers are most reliant on Facebook and LinkedIn. However, according to Payoneer, in 2020 advertisements on Facebook declined from previous years with LinkedIn increasing by 1pc from 2018.

The data showed that even with the growth of co-working spaces in the country, 81pc of Pakistani freelancers prefer to work from home.

“Pakistan has remained in the top 5 freelancing markets in the world consistently. Now is the time our small and midsize businesses (SMBs) grow beyond borders and drive Pakistan’s digital economy,” said Payoneer’s country manager Mohsin Muzzafer while speaking to Dawn.

“More people now consider freelancing as a full-time career as opposed to a part-time gig, which is a big shift to positivity. This also means an increased landscape of opportunity for our youth and the overall impact on digital Pakistan,” he added.

Global landscape

The report said that the gig economy — powered by social media, global marketplaces and online payment platforms — equipped the global workforce with all the tools needed to chart their own career path, leveraging a freelance work lifestyle to build a full-time career, a “side-hustle” or even just extend their career post-retirement.

“The freelancing economy has grown exponentially over the past decade, and I believe we can now firmly say that the future of work has arrived. Obstacles that could slow or hinder freelancers’ ability to grow, connect and be successful have been removed,” said Scott Galit, Payoneer CEO.

“Freelancers from all walks of life and every corner of the world are empowered to acquire work, set their own wages, market their skills, and get paid how and when they want.”

The report highlighted that the freelance workforce was overall very young, with nearly 70pc of freelancers surveyed being under the age of 35, and 21pc were under the age of 25. This youth movement was even more pronounced in Asia where 82pc of respondents were under 35, compared to North America where the number was still high but closer to 47pc.

While freelancers found value in freedom and flexibility of being their own boss, happiness was most tightly correlated with income earned. The worldwide average hourly rate charged by freelancers was $21, higher than the $19 average rate reported in Payoneer’s 2018 survey and significantly higher than the average salaries in many of the countries surveyed.

Closing gender gap

One of the more optimistic findings from the report was that women’s participation in the freelance workforce had been gaining momentum and the average wage for females was leaps and bounds ahead of the greater workforce. Female freelancers earned on average 84pc of men’s earnings across all fields, and while there is room for improvement, the gap is much smaller than the 64pc average for all workers reported by the World Economic Forum.

Riaz Haq said...

#ImranKhan to set up Special #Technology Zones (STZs) for #IT industry in #Pakistan with land in major cities with specialised infrastructure, like plug & play buildings, for IT companies. low rents, low sales & withholding tax.- Profit by Pakistan Today

https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/08/28/pm-khan-keen-to-set-up-special-technology-zones-for-it-industry/

Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown keen interest in setting up Special Technology Zones (STZs) for the IT industry to support its growth and improve ease of doing business.

He expressed support for the idea in a meeting with a delegation from Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) and other representatives of the industry on Thursday. The prime minister resonated with the industry, telling the delegation he saw a lot of potential and growth in the IT sector.

The meeting was was also attended by Minister for Information Technology, Syed Aminul Haq, Minister for Information, Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for Industries, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Advisers Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Dr Ishrat Hussain, Abdul Razzak Dawood, Special Assistant Dr Shahbaz Gill, federal secretaries, Chairman FBR, Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and representatives of various companies belonging to the IT sector.

“The IT industry demanded Special Technology Zones (STZs) to provide opportunities for medium and small scale IT enterprises to have less infrastructure cost and overheads to enable them to do their business and earn exports and remittances for the country,” a source told Profit, elaborating the context of the meeting.

Though the proposal made headway earlier and reached the Planning Commission, the budget for it was never approved. The stakeholders are now hopeful that PM Khan has shown a lot of interest in it and he has directed that the details be shared with him and he wants to see it happen.

“PM Khan is himself very interested in seeing this succeed and he will issue instructions and the Planning Commission would have to find ways to get it through now,” said another source.

Two years ago, P@SHA, the official body that represents the IT industry, had recommended the federal government set up IT Clusters, known STZs. The concept was to emulate Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for other industries, but with certain incentives specific for the IT industry to promote its growth. The proposal was presented during the tenure of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government when Anoushay Rahman was the IT Minister.

STZs were P@SHA’s top most recommendation. All the countries that currently excel in IT have STZs like in Singapore, Philippines etc. India, for instance, has over 100 STZs.

In a clustered environment for the IT industry, P@SHA had recommended dedicating clusters of land in major cities with specialised infrastructure, like plug and play buildings, for IT companies. STZs have low land rental, less sales and withholding tax, less utility bill charges, which are all incentives to bring investors and incentives that are necessary for small IT companies to thrive in a low cost environment.

“IT companies get projects that require plug and play and power backups. This is the sort of infrastructure that is necessary for its growth. High rise technology parks do not work it for the IT industry because these buildings have high rentals which increases cost of doing business,” a representative from P@SHA told Profit.

The IT industry has also been pushing to keep FBR in check, with their undue notices to IT companies that increases cost of doing business because businesses are required to respond to these notices that incurs untimely costs. That is also an issue that the industry stakeholders believe could be solved with setting up of STZs with one-window operations, which reduces the cost of doing business.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistani #women break dating taboos on #Tinder. Though casual #dating for women is still frowned upon in socially conservative & heavily patriarchal Pakistan, attitudes are rapidly changing in the country's cities. #Karachi #Lahore #Islamabad #Pakistan https://www.dw.com/en/pakistan-women-tinder/a-54509792


Casual dating for women is often frowned upon in Pakistan's male-dominated society. However, dating apps such as Tinder are challenging norms and allowing women to take more control over their sexuality.

Faiqa is a 32-year-old entrepreneur in Islamabad, and, like many young single women around the world, she uses dating apps to connect with men.

Although casual dating for women is still frowned upon in socially conservative and heavily patriarchal Pakistan, attitudes are rapidly changing in the country's cities.

Faiqa has been using the dating app Tinder for two years, and she said although the experience has been "liberating," many Pakistani men are not used to the idea of women taking control of their sexuality and dating lives. Pakistani women are often expected to preserve a family's "honor."

"I've met some men on Tinder who describe themselves as 'open minded feminists,' yet still ask me: 'Why is a decent and educated girl like you on a dating app?'" Faiqa told DW.


Online dating grows in South Asia

India leads South Asia's online dating market, and Pakistan is slowly catching on. A study by the Indonesian Journal of Communication Studies found that most of Pakistan's Tinder users come from major cities including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and are usually between 18 and 40 years old.

Other dating apps are also growing in popularity. MuzMatch caters exclusively to Muslims looking for a date. Bumble, despite being relatively new to the online dating market, is a favorite among many Pakistani feminists, as women initiate the first conversation.

"There are fewer men on Bumble, therefore it somehow feels safer to use. Tinder is well-known and someone you know could see you, making it uncomfortable," said Nimra, a student from Lahore.

However, many young women in Pakistan use apps because it makes dating more private.

"With a dating app, a woman can choose if she wants a discreet one night stand, a fling, a long-term relationship etc. It is hard for women to do this openly in our culture, which is why dating apps give them an opportunity they won't find elsewhere," said Nabiha Meher Shaikh, a feminist activist from Lahore.

Exploring sexuality in a conservative society

Sophia, a26-year old researcher from Lahore, told DW she uses Tinder to explore her "sexuality without constraints."

"I don't care if people judge me. Society will always judge you, so why bother trying to please them?" she said.

However, not all female Tinder users are as open as Sophia. Most Tinder profiles of Pakistani women do not disclose their full identity, with photographs showing only cropped faces, close-up shots of hands or feet, faces covered with hair or only painted fingernails.

"If we put up our real names or photographs, most men tend to stalk us. If we don't respond, they find us on social media and send weird messages," said 25-year-old Alishba from Lahore.

She also pointed out dating double standards, explaining that married men on Tinder often use their "broken" marriage as an excuse to date other women.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan produces 20,000 IT graduates, engineers annually, says minister

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/549580-pakistan-produces-20-000-it-graduates-engineers-annually-says-minister


LAHORE:Provincial Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal Friday said that government was moving towards right direction by adopting more business friendly policies.Addressing Lift Pakistan 2019 conference hosted by a business group here in a hotel, the minister said the government was fully committed to serve and facilitate its business community.He said Pakistan was ranked at number 4 for free lance development in the world and IT exports increased 70 percent during the last three years. Pakistan has more than 2,000 IT companies and call centres, and 300,000 English speaking IT professionals and 20,000 IT graduates and engineers being produced annually.At present, around 52 incubation and acceleration programmes exist in the country from each of which 7-15 startups are graduating every year. In addition to incubators and accelerators, the start-up of echo system has been strengthened by co-working spaces, business process outsourcing services, 11 fellowship programmes growing scale of angel investment and the launch of local chapter of global initiatives, he said.The minister appreciated the organisers for collaborative efforts in organising an excellent platform to bring together the creative young mind professionals, academicians, entrepreneurs and leading business personalities to explore new opportunities in the real potential of growth of our nation.The minister said the government was working aggressively towards creating a comprehensive start of ecosystem so as to channel the real potential of this growing market. He said that in the World Bank doing business report 2020, Pakistan improved by 28 points on the ease of doing business ranking from 136 to 108 out of 190 economies. He said in order to make national economy grow faster, it is utterly important to continue efforts to ensure a conducive business environment.The government has taken measures which will guarantee and ensure that the business community’s investments in Punjab are secured and their returns are assured. The Punjab government has recently launched e-pay, a mobile application for all business to government and public to government payments in order to facilitate the public and improve country’s revenue collection through easy payment solutions, he concluded.Kilns’ closure delayed: Environment Protection Secretary Salman Ijaz has said that brick-kilns will not be closed immediately in case of improving of air quality index. He stressed upon kiln owners to make their kilns environment friendly by converting the same on zigzag technology to get production throughout the year. This was stated by him while presiding over a meeting here Friday.Director General Environment Tanveer Ahmad Warraich, Director Environment Naseem-ur-Rehman, central and provincial presidents of All Pakistan Mines and Mineral Associations Mir Behroz and Khalid Pervaiz, Chairperson Hyderabad Mir Samad, other representatives, owners of kilns and coal agents were present on this occasion.