In her book, Saadia talks about her father being the first in his family to go to university. He believed in girls' education and career opportunities. She recalls him suggesting that "my sister could become a pilot because the Pakistan Air Force had just starting to train women. Another time he speculated that I could become a news anchor because Pakistan Television, the state-owned television network, had started recruiting more women". Here's an excerpt of her book:
"This shift has not been limited to Pakistan. A quiet but powerful tsunami of working women has swept across the Muslim world. In all, 155 million women work in the Muslim world today, and fifty million of them--a full third--have joined the work force since the turn of the millennium alone, a formidable migration from home to work in the span of less than a generation".
Saadia Zahidi has devoted parts of her book to her experiences in Pakistan where she visited a McDonald's restaurant and found many women working there. A woman also named Saadia working at McDonald's restaurant in Rawalpindi is featured in the book. Here's an excerpt:
"For young women like Saadia, seeing their efforts rewarded in the workplace, just as they were in school and university, can be eye-opening and thrilling and lead them to become even more motivated to work. The independent income is an almost unexpected bonus. I asked Saadia how she spends her earnings and whether she saves. She gives 30 percent of her income to her parents, she said, and the rest she spends as she pleases: mostly on gifts to her parents, sisters, and friends as well as on lunches and dinners out with friends and gadgets like her cell phone—all new luxuries for her. She said that she has no interest in saving because her parents take care of housing and food, just as she expects her husband will do after she marries. So her disposable income is wholly hers to spend, allowing her to contribute to the household budget while also buying luxuries that were previously unimaginable for her parents, without adding a burden to them."
Challenging the stereotypes about Muslim women, Saadia cites an interesting statistic: In Saudi Arabia, out of all of the women that could be going to university, 50 percent are. And that is higher than in China, in India, in Mexico, in Brazil.
While Fareed Zakaria, Nick Kristoff and other talking heads are still stuck on the old stereotypes of Muslim women, the status of women in Muslim societies is rapidly changing, and there is a silent social revolution taking place with rising number of women joining the workforce and moving up the corporate ladder in Pakistan.
"More of them(women) than ever are finding employment, doing everything from pumping gasoline and serving burgers at McDonald’s to running major corporations", says a report in the latest edition of Businessweek magazine.
Beyond company or government employment, there are a number of NGOs focused on encouraging self-employment and entrepreneurship among Pakistani women by offering skills training and microfinancing. Kashf Foundation led by a woman CEO and BRAC are among such NGOs. They all report that the success and repayment rate among female borrowers is significantly higher than among male borrowers.
In rural Sindh, the PPP-led government is empowering women by granting over 212,864 acres of government-owned agriculture land to landless peasants in the province. Over half of the farm land being given is prime nehri (land irrigated by canals) farm land, and the rest being barani or rain-dependent. About 70 percent of the 5,800 beneficiaries of this gift are women. Other provincial governments, especially the Punjab government have also announced land allotment for women, for which initial surveys are underway, according to ActionAid Pakistan.
Both the public and private sectors are recruiting women in Pakistan's workplaces ranging from Pakistani military, civil service, schools, hospitals, media, advertising, retail, fashion industry, publicly traded companies, banks, technology companies, multinational corporations and NGOs, etc.
Here are some statistics and data that confirm the growth and promotion of women in Pakistan's labor pool:
1. A number of women have moved up into the executive positions, among them Unilever Foods CEO Fariyha Subhani, Engro Fertilizer CFO Naz Khan, Maheen Rahman CEO of IGI Funds and Roshaneh Zafar Founder and CEO of Kashf Foundation.
2. Women now make up 4.6% of board members of Pakistani companies, a tad lower than the 4.7% average in emerging Asia, but higher than 1% in South Korea, 4.1% in India and Indonesia, and 4.2% in Malaysia, according to a February 2011 report on women in the boardrooms.
3. Female employment at KFC in Pakistan has risen 125 percent in the past five years, according to a report in the NY Times.
4. The number of women working at McDonald’s restaurants and the supermarket behemoth Makro has quadrupled since 2006.
5. There are now women taxi drivers in Pakistan. Best known among them is Zahida Kazmi described by the BBC as "clearly a respected presence on the streets of Islamabad".
6. Several women fly helicopters and fighter jets in the military and commercial airliners in the state-owned and private airlines in Pakistan.
Here are a few excerpts from the recent Businessweek story written by Naween Mangi:
About 22 percent of Pakistani females over the age of 10 now work, up from 14 percent a decade ago, government statistics show. Women now hold 78 of the 342 seats in the National Assembly, and in July, Hina Rabbani Khar, 34, became Pakistan’s first female Foreign Minister. “The cultural norms regarding women in the workplace have changed,” says Maheen Rahman, 34, chief executive officer at IGI Funds, which manages some $400 million in assets. Rahman says she plans to keep recruiting more women for her company.
Much of the progress has come because women stay in school longer. More than 42 percent of Pakistan’s 2.6 million high school students last year were girls, up from 30 percent 18 years ago. Women made up about 22 percent of the 68,000 students in Pakistani universities in 1993; today, 47 percent of Pakistan’s 1.1 million university students are women, according to the Higher Education Commission. Half of all MBA graduates hired by Habib Bank, Pakistan’s largest lender, are now women. “Parents are realizing how much better a lifestyle a family can have if girls work,” says Sima Kamil, 54, who oversees 1,400 branches as head of retail banking at Habib. “Every branch I visit has one or two girls from conservative backgrounds,” she says.
Some companies believe hiring women gives them a competitive advantage. Habib Bank says adding female tellers has helped improve customer service at the formerly state-owned lender because the men on staff don’t want to appear rude in front of women. And makers of household products say female staffers help them better understand the needs of their customers. “The buyers for almost all our product ranges are women,” says Fariyha Subhani, 46, CEO of Unilever Pakistan Foods, where 106 of the 872 employees are women. “Having women selling those products makes sense because they themselves are the consumers,” she says.
To attract more women, Unilever last year offered some employees the option to work from home, and the company has run an on-site day-care center since 2003. Engro, which has 100 women in management positions, last year introduced flexible working hours, a day-care center, and a support group where female employees can discuss challenges they encounter. “Today there is more of a focus at companies on diversity,” says Engro Fertilizer CFO Khan, 42. The next step, she says, is ensuring that “more women can reach senior management levels.”
The gender gap in South Asia remains wide, and women in Pakistan still face significant obstacles. But there is now a critical mass of working women at all levels showing the way to other Pakistani women.
I strongly believe that working women have a very positive and transformational impact on society by having fewer children, and by investing more time, money and energies for better nutrition, education and health care of their children. They spend 97 percent of their income and savings on their families, more than twice as much as men who spend only 40 percent on their families, according to Zainab Salbi, Founder, Women for Women International, who recently appeared on CNN's GPS with Fareed Zakaria.
Here's an interesting video titled "Redefining Identity" about Pakistan's young technologists, including women, posted by Lahore-based 5 Rivers Technologies:
Status of Women in Pakistan
Microfinancing in Pakistan
Gender Gap Worst in South Asia
Status of Women in India
Female Literacy Lags in South Asia
Land For Landless Women
Are Women Better Off in Pakistan Today?
Growing Insurgency in Swat
Religious Leaders Respond to Domestic Violence
Fighting Agents of Intolerance
A Woman Speaker: Another Token or Real Change
A Tale of Tribal Terror
Mukhtaran Mai-The Movie
World Economic Forum Survey of Gender Gap
Very good article. Excellent information.
It does not mention the role of religion, positive or negative.
This is the kind of message that my brother Ejaz and I consistently give out on NPR, radio stations, and the Commonwealth Club, as well as Inter-faith meetings at Bay Area synagogues and churches, nearly once or twice every month. We have a long list of Pakistani women pioneers - doctors, engineers, pilots, mountain climbers, politicians (from Fatima Jinnah to Asma Jahangir), bankers, prime ministers, and business women, writers and educators.
Important in our messages is the timeline of our women "rising". Fatimah Jinnah and Rana Liaquat were up and about in the 50s.
We also point out the hardships faced by Shukriyah Khanum who became a commercial pilot in 1959. She was restricted from joining PIA as a pilot strictly because she was a woman (it said in her rejection letter) - thanks Ayub Khan and Nur Khan. Zia maintained that restriction till his death.
To your list of talking heads, you should have added the name or Reza Aslan, the writer of NYT # 1 seller Zealot. On CNN, Fox, NBC, and on and on, Reza consistently brought the name of Pakistani women as the low-grade Muslims compared with Turkey (in his examples). I personally silenced that form of comparison after I gave him a list of 30 Pakistani women who excelled in their fields over others, and certainly ahead of Turkey that he was so proud of. I asked him to find some other way of promoting Turkish women instead of faulting someone to make his lame point. He got the message, and now uses Somalia.
Jeeyo Pakistan...Why is the rate of participation reducing dramatically in India while increasing even more dramatically in Pakistan?
STYLY Provides VR Workshops In Pakistan
To encourage the fledgling Pakistani VR industry, STYLY is running workshops in Punjab universities.
Pakistan is home to over 211 million people, the world’s 5th largest population. It is also home to a growing technology sector and a slowly emerging virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market. To encourage this growing area, STYLY have been running workshops in AR ad VR technology in Punjab.
STYLY set up workshops at 15 universities in Punjab, along with STYLY’s VR content creation and distribution service. A total of 2,165 students attended the sessions, where they could learn about VR and AR and have the opportunity to create their own VR content using the STYLY platform.
The sessions also gave students and faculty the chance to don a VR headset and have a VR experience, something that many were trying out for the first time.
“Pakistan’s students are bursting with talent, motivation, and potential,” says STYLY’s Chief Alliance Officer, Nausharwan Mir, “but unfortunately, most universities do not yet have any VR courses, labs, or resources. That’s why we came here – to provide the guidance, tools, and gateway for students in Pakistan to unlock their potential and participate in the VR industry, thereby improving their lives, nation, and the overall industry, by using STYLY technology.”
Pakistan’s growing IT industry is well recognised, and many companies and governments have been keen to invest in Pakistan’s economy, recognising its huge potential for growth. As seen by China’s $62 billion (USD) investment in infrastructure and mass transit in Pakistan.
The VR industry in that country is still in its infancy, however, so STYLY is planning to continue its work in building the VR industry and student communities.
A future perfect
Stephen Pinker’s case for optimism
“Enlightenment Now” explains why the doom-mongers are wrong
TO ANYONE who reads a newspaper, this can seem a miserable world. Syria is still at war. Another lunatic has gone on a gun rampage in an American school. The tone of political debate can rarely have been as crass and poisonous as it is today.
Front pages are grim for the same reason that Shakespeare’s plays feature a lot of murders. Tragedy is dramatic. Hardly anyone would read a story headlined “100,000 AEROPLANES DIDN’T CRASH YESTERDAY”. Bad things often happen suddenly and telegenically. A factory closes; an apartment block burns down. Good things tend to happen incrementally, and across a wide area, making them much harder to film. News outlets could have honestly reported that the “NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY” every day for 25 years. But readers might get bored.
The world is about 100 times wealthier than 200 years ago and, contrary to popular belief, its wealth is more evenly distributed. The share of people killed annually in wars is less than a quarter of that in the 1980s and half a percent of the toll in the second world war. During the 20th century Americans became 96% less likely to die in a car crash, 92% less likely to perish in a fire and 95% less likely to expire on the job.
Best of all possible worlds
Progress has often been stunningly rapid. The vast majority of poor Americans enjoy luxuries unavailable to the Vanderbilts and Astors of 150 years ago, such as electricity, air-conditioning and colour televisions. Street hawkers in South Sudan have better mobile phones than the brick that Gordon Gekko, a fictional tycoon, flaunted in “Wall Street” in 1987. It is not just that better medicine and sanitation allow people to live longer, healthier lives, or that labour-saving devices have given people more free time, or that Amazon and Apple offer a dazzling variety of entertainment to fill it. People are also growing more intelligent, and more humane.
In every part of the world IQ scores have been rising, by a whopping 30 points in 100 years, meaning that the average person today scores better than 98% of people a century ago. How can this be, given that intelligence is highly heritable, and clever folk breed no more prolifically than less gifted ones? The answer is better nutrition (“brains are greedy organs”) and more stimulation. Children are far likelier to go to school than they were in 1900, while “outside the schoolhouse, analytic thinking is encouraged by a culture that trades in visual symbols (subway maps, digital displays), analytic tools (spreadsheets, stock reports) and academic concepts that trickle down into common parlance (supply and demand, on average, human rights).”
Belief in equality for ethnic minorities and gay people has shot up, as demonstrated not only by polls (which could be biased by the knowledge that bigotry is frowned upon) but also by internet activity. Searches for racist jokes have fallen by seven-eighths in America since 2004. Those who enjoy them are dying out: online searches for racial epithets correlate with interest in “Social Security” and “Frank Sinatra”, Mr Pinker notes. Even the most conservative places are loosening up. Polls find that young Muslims in the Middle East are about as liberal as young western Europeans were in the early 1960s.
Mr Pinker has answers for all these questions. In 45 out of 52 countries in the World Values Survey, happiness increased between 1981 and 2007. It rises roughly in line with absolute income per head, not relative income. Loneliness, at least among American students, appears to be declining. Global warming is a big threat, but not insurmountable. The number of nuclear weapons in the world has fallen by 85% since its peak.
Arkansas To Pakistan: One Woman's Mission For Gender Equity
I met Amy Reeves Robinson recently when she spoke at a leadership class in Northwest Arkansas. Amy is on a mission to not just create gender equality, but gender equity. When I heard her say that, I knew I needed to talk further with her about her mission and I suspected she had an unreasonable request that she could share.
She told me she went to Pakistan to help women in entrepreneurship, and that her unreasonable request was one she had to make within her personal circle. Being a mother, wife and business owner, sometimes our unreasonable requests are closer to home.
So I went. I took the leap. And then I danced. Pakistan was a beautiful country full of incredible people - men and women alike. As I'd observed in coaching companies led by women in the U.S., the women in Pakistan were passionate about solving the challenges of their country and world. They were engineers, scientists, technologists, and savvy business women who sat side by side with their colleagues - some men, some men and women, some only women. Their fellow women wore their chosen hijab, niqab, or no head covering at all, but the differences in gender or religion were not what mattered here. They had a job to do. A world to change. And they knew they could do it if they did it together.
Burns: How were you feeling when you made your Unreasonable Request?
Robinson: Strong, and then guilty. Some of it was from my own fears and expectations, but in retrospect, so much more was from the fears and expectations of our culture and society.
Burns: What are the top 3 things you learned from making your Unreasonable Request?
Robinson: Trust yourself. Trust those who love you. Being yourself is the best gift you have to give.
I communed with the women in Pakistan the same way I communed with women anywhere. Our ritual, our dance of greeting, compliment, storytelling, and finding connection is the same in any language. Their warmth and welcome, and our mutual understanding that we were there to bring female voice, grace, intelligence, and perspective to solving problems, was both comforting and powerful. This journey took me from the belief that we are all more alike than different - to knowing it as a truth. It also solidified the truth that when women support women, the world grows and changes exponentially for the better. It is something I felt so deeply that when I was asked to do a TEDx talk about entrepreneurship, I shed all the shiny objects, jargon, and fanfare for the simple truth that "I believe in tribes of women." It is what I have seen and lived to be where we should put our most sincere focus and effort as a first step on our path to gender equity, equality, and the ultimate goal - tribe of human.
I not only made it home safely, I made it home stronger and better. Although things may not have been done the way I would have done them in my absence, my family did not suffer, fall apart, or starve without me. They also never out-loud questioned my love for them in my leaving, despite the few voices that did and the mommy-guilt record playing in my head. They were stronger and better, too.
Life does not have any guarantees other than the fact that we are the ones we have to live with for the rest of our lives. Living as authentically and true to ourselves, is the best legacy we have and the power to leave to those we love and who love us. And, although my family have yet to read my letters to them, I update them regularly and they are still there, just in case.
Malala on David Letterman's new Netflix show last night
Letterman: Would there ever be a woman leader again in a Muslim country?
Malala: I want women to become leaders in every country, not just Muslim countries. There hasn't been a woman President in United States.
#Pakistan appoints first-ever female diplomat at its embassy in #SaudiArabia
Fouzia Fayyaz has been appointed as councilor at Pakistan’s embassy in Saudi Arabia, making her the first-ever female diplomat in the Kingdom in 70 years.
Talking to Daily Jang, Fouzia stated that Pakistan is a progressive country that has always recognised the potential and status of women as they continue to excel in their respective fields. The foreign ministry has always taken initiatives to broaden opportunities of success for women, she further added.
She also said that with her appointment more and more women have now been inducted at the section of the embassy of which she is in-charge.
According to Fouzia, her determination to soar to new heights stems from the fact that she had a very supporting father who gave equal importance to education of girls as boys. Hailing from southern Punjab, Fouzia acquired a Master’s degree in English Literature from Islamia University in Bahawalpur after which she gave her CSS exams.
He first appointment was in Washington D.C and then in New Delhi where she also rendered services as diplomat.
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
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.
For those who do overcome myriad obstacles to practice medicine, many drop out of the labor force when they are married or have children. DoctHERs is “about them being able to participate in the workforce and feel a sense of autonomy,” says Asher Hasan, the organization’s co-founder.
Pakistan has one of the world’s lowest rates of female participation in the labor market — it is estimated only 25 percent of women over the age of 15 work. However, there are signs that technology is gradually transforming women’s participation in some areas of the labor force.
Pakistan accounts for 8 percent of the worldwide digital gig economy, trailing only India, Bangladesh and the United States. The rise of gig work (flexible, piecemeal jobs), say some experts, has provided many Pakistani women a foothold in the new digital economy, in some cases shifting women into the primary breadwinner role.
“The gig economy is a unique economic opportunity for women in Pakistan... allowing women to earn a living or access a service from the home when cultural constraints may not allow them to work outside the home,” says Saadia Zahidi, author of Fifty Million Rising: The New Generation of Working Women Transforming the Muslim World.
Sultan normally works in the evenings, when her husband can take over childcare. She selects the number of days and hours she works, and gets paid per video consultation. “They can switch their availability on and off,” adds DoctHERs’ Hasan. “They get to decide their own hours.”
Pakistan footballer Hajra Khan: ‘It’s changing. Slowly, but it’s changing’
The captain of the Pakistan women’s team is challenging preconceptions in her homeland and beyond as she leads a fight for equality and recognition
Karachi is the capital of the province of Sindh, the most populous city in Pakistan and among the biggest in the world. Bordering the Arabian Sea, it is home to more than 21 million people.
Here football is the opiate of the people. It comes as no surprise that Hajra Khan first played outside her home with other children, keeping goal in a net chalked out against a neighbouring wall. However, it was not until she was 14, preoccupied with basketball and track and field, that her mother came across football tryouts in the local Sunday paper and told her to give it a shot.
Ten years on, Khan’s talent has forced football to transcend the country’s historically rigid gender norms and has proved to be a vehicle for change. Khan was made captain of the Pakistan women’s team at the age of 20. She is the country’s highest-scoring female footballer, a Unicef ambassador and the first Pakistani player, male or female, to be signed by a foreign club.
As a child Khan was quiet but she has been anything but when it comes to her national team’s struggle for equality. At the most recent training camp the women were paid $3 a day to the men’s $10. “Dentists, economists, engineers and school girls quit their livelihoods just to be at that camp, a camp that pays a quarter of what they were earning,” Khan says.
Demands from the women’s team for more appear to have had an impact. It was announced in April that the wage would be increased to $10 a day – although the men’s pay was doubled to $20. Khan’s fight is part of a global picture, with female footballers across the US, Norway, Brazil, Ireland and most recently New Zealand demanding gender parity.
Though there is no ignoring the signs of progress in Pakistan, with a historic transgender rights bill passed this month, sexism is pervasive in the Islamic country – which gained notoriety for arguably being one of the most oppressive countries for women, ranking second-worst on the Global Gender Gap index. Men’s teams are not only paid more but granted priority in pitch bookings over women’s teams, who then have to train on cricket pitches or any surface that suffices. And the problems run deeper.
“Say if there’s a photo with the national team on Facebook, there’s going to be 100 negative comments about how she’s not Muslim, how she’s a disgrace to the country,” Khan says. “They don’t care of the skill that the girl has, or the credibility that she holds, or that she’s representing the national team.”
Why the new global wealth of educated women spurs backlash
The spread of education across developing nations is transforming global inequalities and playing a key role in closing the gender gap. Economics correspondent Paul Solman sits down with economist Surjit Bhalla and sociologist Ravinder Kaur to discuss Bhalla’s book, “The New Wealth of Nations,” as well as the backlash to increasing equality.
Indian economist Surjit Bhalla and his wife, sociologist Ravinder Kaur, in the U.S. recently to spread the message of “The New Wealth of Nations.”
The key thesis of the book is that education and the spread of education has transformed the world and has transformed relationships, inequalities between countries and, finally and most importantly, between the sexes.
And the cost? What’s the cost?
The cost is that people in the West are going to lose out relative to the people in the East, the East meaning the rest of the world, the West meaning the advanced countries.
What happens, when the world is filled with everybody graduating from high school, then the Western people will lose their advantage over the rest of the world.
And so that’s why the person with a high school diploma in the United States has seen her or his, usually his, earnings…
Decline, yes, in real terms, by something like 10 percent or 15 percent over the last 25 years. The real wage of those who went to college, but didn’t graduate has stayed the same. And the real wage of college graduates, the creme de la creme, has risen by only 0.5 percent per annum.
But it’s not the creme de la creme anymore, because you can go beyond college.
Well, no, this includes beyond graduate. Whether it’s doctors or it’s lawyers, everything is transferable now.
Even surgery can be done transatlantic by the use of technology. Where is the real advantage left for an American or a British or German or Western professional?
Isn’t that why there’s a reaction against immigration?
You know, there’s always a scapegoat when things are not going well for you. And it always tends to be somebody we think of as the other. You know, it could be a person of a different color. It could be a person of different religious persuasion.
Of different sex or whatever. So, today, maybe men are resentful of women.
Previously, there were always the bottom 20 percent who lost out, but they could come home and feel superior to or dominate their wives.
Now they come home, and the women are the major breadwinners, or are more educated than them, or more able than them.
Or at least are competing with them.
Or competing. From where they were here, now they’re equals. That can mess up the psychology of men.
I think it is a threatened masculinity issue. Why do you see more, you know, such crime in places where the gender gap is closing?
According to the World Health Organization, for example, violence against women surged in both Nicaragua and Uganda following public information campaigns promoting women’s rights.
And then there’s the so-called Nordic paradox. Though Iceland Norway, Finland and Sweden take the World Economic Forum’s global index of gender equality — the U.S. ranks 49th — they are also among the worst in Europe for domestic violence and sexual assault.
So, for quite some time, my argument has been that if you see more violence and if you see more gender crime, it’s a backlash. How dare this woman be in the public space, and you know how dare she aspire…
Women #airline #pilots in #Pakistan take #SocialMedia by storm.
A picture of Captain Maryam Masood and First Officer Shumaila Mazhar has gone viral and social media can’t stop praising the women. https://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/women-pilots-in-pakistan-take-social-media-by-storm-1.2240507 … #Islamabad #Gilgit
Social media can’t stop cheering for Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) female pilots who flew through a difficult route between Islamabad and Gilgit, Pakistan.
The airline tweeted a picture of smiling Captain Maryam Masood and First Officer Shumaila Mazhar on Wednesday and wrote: “The flight to Gilgit is very challenging and requires a lot of precision and technique. Our dynamic duo, Captain Maryam Masood and First Officer Shumaila Mazhar make it look so easy as they fly through the mountains celebrating the beauty of our northern areas! Way to go! #PIA”.
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
The flight to Gilgit is very challenging and requires a lot of precision and technique. Our dynamic duo, Captain Maryam Masood and First Officer Shumaila Mazhar make it look so easy as they fly through the mountains celebrating the beauty of our northern areas! Way to go!! #PIA
11:58 PM - Jun 20, 2018
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The post has since gone viral, with almost 3,000 retweets and over 9,000 likes.
Gilgit lies in a narrow valley and is the main city in Pakistan’s mountainous Gilgit-Baltistan region. The airstrip at Gilgit airport is considered quite dangerous, as it is extremely short and located at the end of a slope.
Pakistanis all over social media praised the dynamic duo.
Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi @iamhamzaabbasi tweeted: “One of the most technically challenging flights of PIA from Islamabad to Gilgit operated by an all-female flying crew.... Bravo Captain Maryam Masood and First Officer Shumaila Mazhar. You both are an inspiration!”
Tweep Mohammad Firaas @raisinganchor took a moment to highlight other Pakistani female crew members, who have successfully piloted aircraft over the years: “I remember the day when two female pilots with an all-female cabin crew flew a #Fokker F27 from Islamabad to Lahore back in January 2006. Ayesha Rabia and Sadia Aziz became the inspiration for many other female pilots to take to the skies! Wish them all the best in @Official_PIA!”
Twitter user @ejazhaider wrote: “This... is our true potential; this is what defines us. Way to go officers!”
Tweep Asif Pasha @Asif_Pasha_ highlighted how the women were an inspiration to his children and other Pakistani women: “My daughter of 8 wants to become a pilot too. Long way to go but she will definitely make it one day. What a proud moment for the captain, first officer and their parents…”
The pilots also received praise from across the border. Former Indian Police Service officer, Sanjiv Bhatt @sanjivbhatt tweeted: “Red letter day in the aviation history of Pakistan…”
#Pakistani #women riding #motorcycles to fight patriarchy. #WomenatWork #Pakistan
One morning recently, 28-year-old Rahila Qaisar donned a pink helmet, balanced her handbag on her lap and revved her new pink Honda motorcycle, so fresh from the factory that the passenger seat was still covered in plastic.
Qaisar is one of hundreds of newly minted motorcycle riders zipping around eastern Pakistan under a government initiative to help women navigate the country’s notoriously male-dominated roads.
The Women on Wheels campaign has trained more than 3,500 female motorcycle riders in Punjab province — the country’s largest — and plans to furnish more than 700 subsidized bikes to licensed riders from low- and middle-income families.
The program represents a small revolution for women such as Qaisar, a bubbly preschool teacher who said that running even the most mundane errands — shuttling her father to appointments and zipping through the narrow lanes of busy shopping areas — has given her newfound self-confidence.
“It helps us economically and it helps us emotionally,” Qaisar said. “When I first started riding, I felt like I was flying high in the sky.”
A few years ago, when her parents were bedridden after a road accident, Qaisar wished she hadn’t been born a girl.
“I could have done more for my family as a son,” said Qaisar, the youngest of three daughters and the last one still living at home. To fetch medicines and household supplies, she crisscrossed this sprawling city alone in buses and motorized rickshaws, braving heat, traffic delays and unwanted attention from strange men.
Her father’s motorcycle — the preferred conveyance for Lahore’s harried working class — sat idle in the garage. It wasn’t considered proper for a woman in Pakistan to ride one.
While women in Saudi Arabia made headlines this summer for earning the right to drive for the first time, Pakistani women face a different struggle on the roads. Few families can afford cars. In Lahore, a provincial capital of 11 million people with an extensive road network but inadequate mass transit, riding public buses often means long wait times and crowded compartments where men can grope and harass female riders with impunity.
In Pakistan’s deeply patriarchal society — where fathers, brothers and husbands often dictate women’s movements — surveys show men strongly oppose female family members taking most forms of public transport. The Center for Economic Research in Pakistan has found that these restrictions constrain women from working, pursuing higher education and venturing beyond their neighborhoods.
“Economic empowerment is dependent on mobility, and this was the cheapest way we could give women mobility,” said Salman Sufi, head of the province’s Strategic Reforms Unit, which implemented the program. The bikes were painted pink to stand out — and discourage male relatives from using them.
When Qudsia Abbas received her bike — it retails for about $650, but the program offers a 40% discount — it was the most exciting development in her family in years. Her younger sisters, who had to beg their father to drop them off at tutoring sessions and school events on his motorbike, now rely on her for rides.
“I became a brother to my sisters,” said Abbas, 20, who has no male siblings. “My father is a lot more relaxed now.”
Kate Vyborny, a Duke University researcher who studies transportation in Pakistan, said Women on Wheels could help “shift the norms around women in public spaces” and fight the conservative stereotype that a woman straddling a motorcycle is somehow indecent.
But with initiatives such as women-only buses having had limited success, Vyborny said that officials should closely monitor the impact of such a significant cultural change.
“Generally it’s been taboo for women to ride motorbikes,” Vyborny said. “If the government is successful in increasing acceptance of that, it’s a really major thing.”
Justice Tahira Safdar nominated as first female chief justice in #Balochistan or anywhere else in #Pakistan. #judiciary #gender https://tribune.com.pk/story/1764871/1-justice-tahira-safdar-nominated-first-female-chief-justice-pakistan/
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday nominated Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar as the Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court (BHC), paving way for her to become the first female chief justice of any court in the country.
“Madam Tahira Safdar will be the next chief justice of BHC,” he announced at Justice Safdar’s book launch in Lahore, where he was invited as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Nisar said that he will never even let a scratch come to the institution, referring to the matter of Justice Siddiqui’s fiery speech against state institutions.
“Unfortunately, a few forces are trying to undermine and weaken the judiciary, I will never let that happen,” he remarked. “As long as the Supreme Court exists, no threats against democracy will succeed.”
BHC’s incumbent Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai is scheduled to retire on September 1 this year. He was sworn in on December 26, 2014 after Justice Qazi Faez Isa was elevated as a Supreme Court judge.
Justice Tahira Safdar will work as the chief justice of the BHC till October 5 next year. Justice Tahira Safdar is part of the special court, hearing the high treason case against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
Interestingly, Justice Safdar was the first woman to be appointed as a civil judge in Balochistan, besides having the distinction of being the first lady to be appointed in all posts she served. She was also the first female high court judge.
According to her profile on BHC’s website, Justice Safdar is the daughter of Syed Imtiaz Hussain Baqri Hanafi, a renowned lawyer.
She was born on October 5, 1957, at Quetta. She received her basic education from the Cantonment Public School, Quetta, and finished her bachelors’ degree from the Government Girls College, Quetta. Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar did her Masters in Urdu Literature from the University of Balochistan, and completed her degree in law from the University Law College, Quetta, in 1980.
#Pakistan's first woman ambassador to #Iran takes charge in #Tehran
Ambassador Riffat Masood on Tuesday presented her credentials to Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zareef, becoming the country’s first woman envoy to Iran.
Riffat Masood is a career diplomat with wide experience of diplomacy and having fluency in Persian language.
She also had various diplomatic assignments in the country’s missions in Norway, United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey and France.
Charted: The shocking gender divide in India’s workforce
From wage gaps to social prejudices, Indian women face multiple barriers to entering the workforce in greater numbers.
“The Indian economy remains heavily gender segregated,” a report by the Bengaluru-based Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment (pdf) has found. The report on India’s job market also underscores the fact that women haven’t completely benefited from India’s rapid economic progress.
India’s female labour-force participation is among the lowest in the world and what is worse, it has only stagnated in the last decade. This has been attributed to factors such as societal attitudes that give preference to early marriages over jobs and education, a general disapproval of working women, and a lack of suitable job opportunities for them. Women also continue to be employed mostly in low-paying, low-value jobs.
The wage gap, much like the world over, persists in the Indian job market, too. And for women here, who are largely employed in low value-added sectors such as agriculture, textiles, and domestic services, the wage disparity is quite striking. “Women earn between 35% and 85% of men’s earnings, depending on the type of work and the level of education of the worker,” the report added.
However, over the last few years, pay disparities have reduced across certain sectors.
For instance, in the organised manufacturing sector, the pay gap has narrowed from 35% in 2000 to 45% in 2013. Similarly, the report noted a reduction in the earnings gap in female-dominated industries like food, tobacco, textiles, apparel, and among construction labourers.
Where do they work
Women in India form a large chunk of the workforce in industries such as agriculture, education, and textiles. “Women workers remain highly over-represented in the low value-added industries as well as occupations, such as agriculture, textiles, and domestic service,” the report noted. These low-value-added industries mean that women continue to be on the lower end of the pay scale.
At the higher end of the wage spectrum, women are few in number. “Women continue to be heavily under-represented among senior officers, legislators and managers…Also, on a negative note, women continue to be over-represented in elementary occupations, which are among the least well-paid,” the report noted.
The silver lining, though, is that the winds of change have started to blow. More and more educated women are joining higher-earning occupations, even though their share remains small.
With the generally better level of education, there has been an increase in the share of women working as accountants, auditors, market research analysts, public relations personnel, and financial analysts. This means that there is a small but steady rise in women with high-paying jobs. “Women are even over-represented among associate-level professionals. Further, the share of women working in these well-paying occupations has increased steadily since 1994.”
Even as the country grapples with providing meaningful employment to its young people, policies directed towards enabling more women to join the workforce could bode well for the country.
The report noted that despite the proliferation of jobs in the economy, India has done little to create more opportunities for women. “Broadly speaking, economic growth in India has still not generated a process of employment diversification, especially for women.”
#Female car mechanic driving change in patriarchal #Pakistan. She has also convinced some of those who doubted her ability to make it in a male-dominated work environment, including members of her own family. #automobile #technician
Since picking up a wrench as one of the first female car mechanics in conservative Pakistan, Uzma Nawaz has faced two common reactions: shock and surprise. And then a bit of respect.
The 24-year-old spent years overcoming entrenched gender stereotypes and financial hurdles en route to earning a mechanical engineering degree and netting a job with an auto repairs garage in the eastern city of Multan.
"I took it up as a challenge against all odds and the meagre financial resources of my family," Nawaz told AFP.
"When they see me doing this type of work they are really surprised."
Hailing from the small, impoverished town of Dunyapur in eastern Pakistan's Punjab province, Nawaz relied on scholarships and often skipped meals when she was broke while pursuing her degree.
Her achievements are rare. Women have long struggled for their rights in conservative patriarchal Pakistan, and especially in rural areas are often encouraged to marry young and devote themselves entirely to family over career.
"No hardship could break my will and motivation," she says proudly.
The sacrifices cleared the way for steady work at a Toyota dealership in Multan following graduation, she adds.
Just a year into the job, and promoted to general repairs, Nawaz moves with the ease of a seasoned pro around the dealership's garage, removing tyres from raised vehicles, inspecting engines and handling a variety of tools - a sight that initially jolted some customers.
"I was shocked to see a young girl lifting heavy spare tyres and then putting them back on vehicles after repairs," customer Arshad Ahmad told AFP.
But Nawaz's drive and expertise have impressed colleagues, who say she can more than hold her own.
"Whatever task we give her she does it like a man with hard work and dedication," said co-worker M. Attaullah.
She has also convinced some of those who doubted her ability to make it in a male-dominated work environment, including members of her own family.
"There is no need in our society for girls to work at workshops, it doesn't seem nice, but it is her passion," said her father Muhammad Nawaz.
"She can now set up the machinery and can work properly. I too am very happy."
FROM FIRST PAKISTANI ALUMNA TO IAA PRESIDENT: MEET SADIA KHAN MBA’95D
Sadia Profilevestment banker, development banker, financial sector regulator, family business leader and now entrepreneur. This is the career of Sadia Khan MBA’95D: first Pakistani woman to graduate from INSEAD and new president of the world’s most international alumni organisation. She explains how being an INSEAD volunteer has played a role in her own achievements – and how the IAA is working for the benefit of all alumni.
Salamander Magazine: Do you have a secret formula for success?
Sadia Khan: Initiative. Networking. Savoir-faire. Empowerment. Attitude. Diligence… Or, for short, INSEAD! And the best way to keep that formula fresh after graduating is to join the INSEAD Alumni Association. That’s why I’ve always been so involved at a national and international level. And the network feels more vibrant today than ever before.
SM: When you returned to work in Pakistan after many years abroad, there was no National Alumni Association… So you founded one! Why?
SK: Back in 1994, I had to fly to Dubai for my INSEAD interview, because there were no graduates to interview me in Pakistan. So I realised there was a need to galvanize the small but growing number of alumni there – and to provide a much needed networking platform for the younger generation. We started with 30 members in 2007, but managed to organise high-profile events for up to 300 people. The NAA has definitely helped to build the INSEAD brand within the country.
SM: You were an INSEAD volunteer before that, though. Had you already felt the benefits?
SK: I’d been actively involved with INSEAD since graduating. While I was based in the Philippines, I started interviewing MBA candidates and discovered that it not only kept me in touch with the school’s development but also gave me the chance to interact with the next generation of business leaders.
SM: How did you get involved at an international level?
SK: I was invited to become a member of the IAA Executive Committee as VP for Asia and communications in 2012. The highlight was probably heading up the implementation of the first Global INSEAD Day in 2013. The IAA model is based on teamwork and volunteerism and it was in that spirit that I took up my current role.
SM: How did you become the global IAA President?
SK: I have to admit I was taken by surprise when the search committee approached me earlier this year! It wasn’t a role I was vying for or even contemplating at this stage of my professional life. However, I knew there was work to be done right now in enhancing the value proposition of the IAA for our alumni, and there was a great team ready to support me in this role, within the volunteer community and within the school.
SM: Why do you believe the IAA is so valuable to alumni and to the school?
SK: An active alumni association not only helps to keep the alumni energised and engaged but also contributes tremendously to the positive branding of INSEAD. Through our activities, we not only get a chance to showcase the achievements of our members but also demonstrate our deep bonding with the institution. And nothing succeeds like success. The success of the alumni boosts the reputation of the school, while in turn the success of the school enables the alumni to bask in its reflected glory. Having a strong and active alumni network is a win-win for all.
Carpenters Challenge Notions Of '#Women's Work' In Pakistan. Dozens of women in northern #Pakistan have learned #carpentry skills as part of a #training program to make them financially independent. #vocation https://www.rferl.org/a/pakistan-women-carpenters/29562991.html
#Pakistani #imam’s daughter becomes fastest #female #athlete. Asra who hails from the city of #Faisalabad is one of Pakistan’s up-and-coming sports stars. In November, 2018 she won the gold at the National #Athletics Championship. https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/pakistani-imams-daughter-becomes-fastest-female-athlete-1.61230059
Dubai: Appreciation poured in on social media for the heartwarming tale of Pakistani gold medalist Sahib-e-Asra and her father, a local imam, who appear to have broken stereotypes.
Asra who hails from the city of Faisalabad is one of Pakistan’s up-and-coming sports stars. In November, 2018 she won the gold at the National Athletics Championship.
What many are surprised to know, and excited about, is that she is the daughter of a local imam, a religious leader at a mosque.
In an interview to the Pakistani non-profit Sujag, which was posted on the organisations Facebook page on Tuesday, Qari Alam Khan, Asra’s father, said that he supported her from the onset of her sporting career, shattering the notion that members of the clergy oppose women in physically intensive fields.
Social media users were pleasantly surprised by the story and expressed their appreciation for the father-daughter duo. Some also expressed their optimism about societal progress.
The video has been widely shared on other social media channels as well.
Twitter user @ZiauddinY posted: “Qari Alam Khan is a great father. He did not clip the wings of his wonderful daughter. He is a role model and Sahib-e-Asra is an incredible inspiration for girls in Pakistan and around the world...”
Tweep @MalikRamzanIsra wrote: “Sahib-e-Asra is not just killing competition but also killing stereotypes. She is Pakistan’s fastest female athlete and also happens to be the daughter of an imam.”
Social media user @VilakhanChatha tweeted: “Brighter side of our society! Such things make me believe it is evolving nicely...”
Social media user @HamidMirPAK wrote: “A prayer leader who broke the myth that daughters of religious parents cannot run fast. A salute to Qari Alam Khan who encouraged his daughter despite opposition from many. And now she is the fastest woman of Pakistan.”
Against the odds
Despite Asra’s success, both father and daughter faced a great deal of opposition along their journey. In the video, Asra can be seen talking about how neighbours and relatives often dissuaded the duo from what they considered an inappropriate field for women. Her father has maintained in all of his media interviews, however, that his pride and belief in his daughter’s ability never wavered.
Such a moving story!
Sahib e Asra, young girl hailing from Faisalabad, daughter of an Imam breaking stereotypes and becoming the fastest female athlete in 🇵🇰
A girl can achieve anything having encouragement and moral support from her loved ones :)
Pakistan's Fastest Female Athlete is the Daughter of an Imam - https://propakistani.pk/2019/01/02/pakistans-fastest-female-athlete-is-the-daughter-of-an-imam/ …
Despite the strong will, they do face some practical challenges. Both Asra and Alam Khan were vocal about the poor sports training facilities in Pakistan and the lack of government support, with Asra calling sports infrastructure in the country not at par with neighbouring countries like India or Bangladesh.
Rising voices of #women in #Pakistan. Pakistan’s last #elections saw an increase of 3.8 million newly registered women voters. Dramatic increase follows a 2017 law requiring at least 10% female voter turnout to legitimize each district’s count. https://on.natgeo.com/2GcdyGg via @NatGeo
Many rural women are not registered for their National Identity Cards, a requirement not only to vote but also to open a bank account and get a driver’s license. In Pakistan, many women in rural and tribal areas have not been able to do these things with or without the card. In accordance with patriarchal customs and family pressures, they live in the privacy of their homes without legal identities.
Yet Pakistan’s July 2018 elections saw an increase of 3.8 million newly registered women voters. The dramatic increase follows a 2017 law requiring at least a 10 percent female voter turnout to legitimize each district’s count. Pakistan has allowed women to vote since 1956, yet it ranks among the last in the world in female election participation.
The remote tribal area that borders Afghanistan, formally called the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of northwestern Pakistan, has traditionally been least tolerant of women in public spaces, some women activists say. Yet registration in 2018 increased by 66 percent from 2013. This rise in women’s votes is a victory for women like Khaliq, who are fighting for women’s inclusion and equality in Pakistan, especially among marginalized communities in rural and tribal areas.
Encouraging more women to vote is only the beginning. Women themselves disagree over what their role should be in Pakistani society. The patriarchal, conservative mainstream dismisses feminism as a Western idea threatening traditional social structures. Those who advocate for equality between women and men – the heart of feminism – are fighting an uphill battle. They face pushback from the state, religious institutions, and, perhaps most jarringly, other women.
There are different kinds of activists among women in Pakistan. Some are secular, progressive women like Rukhshanda Naz, who was fifteen years old when she first went on a hunger strike. She was the youngest daughter of her father’s twelve children, and wanted to go to an all-girls’ boarding school against his wishes. It took one day of activism to convince her father, but her family members objected again when she wanted to go to law school. “My brother said he would kill himself,” she said. Studying law meant she’d sit among men outside of her family, which would be dishonorable to him. Her brother went to Saudi Arabia for work. Naz got her law degree, became a human rights lawyer, opened a women’s shelter in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and worked as resident director of the Aurat Foundation, one of Pakistan’s leading organizations for women’s rights. She is also the UN Women head for the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.
Major General Nigar Johar Khan of the Medical Corps is only the 3rd female to rise to the 2-star general rank in Pakistan Army. She hails from a Pashtun family and is from KPK province.
Major General Nigar Johar Khan has become the third woman in Pakistan's history to hold the rank of a major general in the Pakistan Army, according to Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari.
Mazari shared a picture of Maj Gen Nigar Khan, adding the caption: "Respect. #womenempowerment".
"She is a two-star general in Pak Army’s Medical Corps. Apart from being a doc, she is a sharp shooter too," Qamar explained.
"Pak has shown that, it is committed to gender equality and women empowerment. Gender specific jobs assigned by the ancient patriarchy are now adapting to the realities of 21st century," she added.
#Pakistan Launches First National Accelerator On Closing #Skills Gap in Partnership With #WEF. Leaders include #Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Shazia Syed, MD Unilever, Mohammed Aurangzeb, CEO, #HBL, Ghias Khan, CEO, Engro https://www.valuewalk.com/2019/07/national-accelerator-closing-skills-gap-pakistan/ via @valuewalk
The Prime Minster met with the visiting President of the World Economic Forum, Mr.BorgeBrende, at the Prime Minister’s office. At the meeting, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of the National Accelerator on Closing the Skills Gapin Pakistan, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) serving as its national secretariat.
The World Economic Forum is the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum has established the Centre for New Economy and Society (CNES) to provide leaders with a platform to understand and act on emerging economic and social challenges.The Forum’s Centre for New Economy and Society has partnered with PSDF to work together on the future of education and work by setting up a National Accelerator on Closing the Skills Gap in Pakistan. The Accelerator will aim to increase the employability of the current workforce and increase work-readiness and critical skills in the future workforce.
The National Accelerator will be led and guided by a team of Co-Chairs from the public and private sectors. The Government will be represented by Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister of Education and Professional Training and Mr. Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. The Co-Chairs from the private sector include Ms. Shazia Syed, MD Unilever Pakistan, Mr. Mohammed Aurangzeb, President and CEO, Habib Bank Limited, Mr. Ghias Khan, CEO, Engro Corporation. PSDF CEO, Mr. Jawad Khan, will be the National Coordinator.
Focusing on the most strategic sectors in the economy, the Accelerator will also onboard the CEOs of 50 to 100 leading companies in Pakistan as well as academics, policy makers and technical experts from the education and skills development space. The Centre for New Economy and Society has already established 5 such Accelerators in Argentina, Oman, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and India, with 10 more Accelerators expected by 2020.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister shared his Government’s political and financial commitment to reform the skills development sectors in Pakistan and thanked the World Economic Forum for choosing Pakistan as a founding member of the Closing the Skills Gap National Accelerator initiative. Given its global reach, experience and expertise, the Prime Minister expressed his confidence that the Forum’s engagement will help provide new opportunities for Pakistan’s youth and help them develop new skills to fully embrace the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Mr. BorgeBrende, President, World Economic Forum, said: “The launch of the National Accelerator on Closing the Skills Gap is an important milestone in our relationship with Pakistan and it is just the start. Many of Pakistan’s national priorities are the core focus of the Forum’s work. From climate change, water scarcity and connectivity to regional cooperation, the Forum is ready to offer its platform to support Pakistan’s economic transformation.”
Ms. Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director and Head of the Forum’s Centre for New Economy and Society, said: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to significant change in the employment and skills landscape globally over the coming years – and Pakistan is no exception. Through our Accelerator initiative we look forward to supporting Pakistan with an integrated platform for learning and action to proactively manage this change.”
In Pakistan, it’s middle class rising
S. Akbar Zaidi
he general perception still, and unfortunately, held by many people, foreigners and Pakistanis, is that Pakistan is largely an agricultural, rural economy, where “feudals” dominate the economic, social, and particularly political space. Nothing could be further from this outdated, false framing of Pakistan’s political economy. Perhaps the single most significant consequence of the social and structural transformation under way for the last two decades has been the rise and consolidation of a Pakistani middle class, both rural, but especially, urban.
Data based on social, economic and spatial categories all support this argument. While literacy rates in Pakistan have risen to around 60%, perhaps more important has been the significant rise in girls’ literacy and in their education. Their enrolment at the primary school level, while still less than it is for boys, is rising faster than it is for boys. What is even more surprising is that this pattern is reinforced even for middle level education where, between 2002-03 and 2012-13, there had been an increase by as much as 54% when compared to 26% for that of boys. At the secondary level, again unexpectedly, girls’ participation has increased by 53% over the decade, about the same as it has for boys. While boys outnumber girls in school, girls are catching up. In 2014-15, it was estimated that there were more girls enrolled in Pakistan’s universities than boys — 52% and 48%, respectively. Pakistan’s middle class has realised the significance of girls’ education, even up to the college and university level.
In spatial terms, most social scientists would agree that Pakistan is almost all, or at least predominantly, urban rather than rural, even though such categories are difficult to concretise. Research in Pakistan has revealed that at least 70% of Pakistanis live in urban or urbanising settlements, and not in rural settlements, whatever they are. Using data about access to urban facilities and services such as electricity, education, transport and communication connectivity, this is a low estimate. Moreover, even in so-called “rural” and agricultural settlements, data show that around 60% or more of incomes accrue from non-agricultural sources such as remittances and services. Clearly, whatever the rural is, it is no longer agricultural. Numerous other sets of statistics would enhance the middle class thesis in Pakistan.
BISP, Citizenship and Rights Claims in Pakistan
By Rehan Rafay Jamil
Taking Stock of Ten Years of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)
Over ten years since its establishment, the Benazir Income Support Progamme (BISP) has become Pakistan’s largest social safety net, providing coverage to over 5.6 million women and their households across the country. The expansion of BISP over the past decade marks an important shift in social policy in Pakistan. BISP has now been overseen by three elected governments and has resulted in a significant increase in federal fiscal allocations for social protection. Despite vocal reservations about its name expressed by some political parties, the program remains Pakistan’s largest flagship poverty alleviation program with international recognition.
Third party impact evaluations of BISP have largely focused on its poverty alleviation, nutritional and gender empowerment impacts.  These evaluations point to important reductions in poverty and improved nutritional levels for beneficiaries and their households. Oxford Policy Management’s 2016 evaluation finds reductions in BISP households’ reliance on casual labor and an increase in household savings and asset accumulation.
BISP is one of the largest cash transfer programs targeted exclusively at women in the Global South, making the gender impacts of BISP important to understand. In their evaluation, Ambler and De Brauw (2017) find some changes in gender norms and attitudes amongst beneficiaries and their families. Their study finds that female beneficiaries are more likely to have greater mobility to visit friends without their spouse’s permission, are less likely to tolerate domestic violence and male members are more likely to contribute to household work.
BISP and the transition from Cash Transfer Beneficiaries to Citizens
The evaluation reports provide some evidence that BISP has also had a wider set of intended and unintended consequences in influencing beneficiaries’ access to public institutions and spaces. Perhaps the most frequently cited impact of BISP has been a marked increase in rural women’s access to computerized national identity cards (CNICs), a prerequisite for obtaining the program. CNICs can be seen as the first step to citizenship and rights claims in Pakistan. The most significant impact of the rapid increase in CNIC registration amongst BISP beneficiaries has been with regards to voting. Ambler and De Brauw (2017) find evidence that BISP beneficiaries are more likely to vote in national elections. But whether BISP beneficiaries are empowered by the cash transfer to make a wider set of rights claims and access local state services, is less clear.
In order to understand some of the changes brought about by BISP in the lives of rural women, I conducted qualitative field work, including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with beneficiaries and their spouses, in the district of Thatta in Lower Sindh. Thatta has a high proportion of BISP beneficiaries (47 percent), being a high poverty district. The aim of the fieldwork was to develop an understanding of how beneficiaries and their families perceive of BISP and whether the program has brought about any changes in their engagement with local state services.
#Pakistan's younger are #women riding a #digital wave in drive for better jobs....50% of the graduates, a majority of whom are women, have found work in #software companies. https://reut.rs/3bInRhf
When Kianat Naz joined a women-friendly technology boot camp a year ago, she had no idea it would completely change her life and her views on how women can work in conservative Pakistan.
Naz, 22, had never ventured far from her home in Orangi Town in Karachi, one of the five largest slums of the world, but was feeling dissatisfied with her current teaching job.
So she signed up for tech programme called TechKaro, an initiative by Circle, a social enterprise that aims to improve women’s economic rights in Pakistan, and is now working fulltime for a software company.
Naz said the course was challenging in many ways but she soon found that the women on the training were just as good as the men at tech skills like coding, web development and digital marketing, and also at presenting themselves at interviews.
“From developing our CVs, to giving us tips on dressing for work, to conducting ourselves during an interview and how to battle some sticky questions ... we were groomed for everything,” said Naz.
Women make up about 25% of Pakistan’s labour force, one of the lowest in the region, according to the World Bank.
It has set a target to increase this to 45%, calling for more childcare and a crackdown on sexual harassment to encourage more women out to work and boost economic growth.
In Pakistan, women represent only 14% of the IT workforce, according to a 2012 study by P@SHA, the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS).
GAP IN THE MARKET
Sadaffe Abid, chief executive of Circle, set up TechKaro with the help of a few private foundations in 2018 seeing this gender gap, and took on 50 trainees in the first year of which 62% were women and 75 in 2019 including 66% women.
Abid, who previously worked for a micro-finance institution, said she was delighted that women like Naz were proving that women could succeed in the tech world.
“I am a firm believer that one of the most powerful uses of technology is to bring it to young women, especially from under-served communities, to unlock their talents, resourcefulness and creativity,” said Abid.
“People told me I won’t find women, or women will drop out in high numbers, or after completing the course, women won’t find employment as the industry will not be open to hiring this unique diverse group with no degree in computer science.
“But I would say 50% of the graduates, a majority of whom are women, have found work in software companies,” said Abid, who also brought She Loves Tech to Pakistan, one of the world’s largest women and startup competitions globally.
TechKaro is one of the latest programmes in the country aimed at helping women crack the traditionally male domain.
CodeGirls Pakistan, a Karachi-based boot camp, trains girls from middle and low-income families in coding and business skills.
In 2017, a six-week camp SheSkills taught women everything from web development and digital design to social media marketing.
After attending the TechKaro course, Naz found work earlier this year at an IT company earning double the salary she was getting as a teacher but which meant leaving her neighbourhood, using public transport, and working side-by-side with men.
“I had never ventured out on my own and I was dead scared the first time I had to do it, but now it is just fine,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation said in an interview by telephone from Orangi Town.
“The rest of Karachi is not quite the big bad wolf I’d imagined it to be,” said Naz who navigated an app-based transit startup to reduce her travel time by two hours a day.
“It gave me a lot of confidence when I asked my employers if they would have a problem with my wearing the niqab (a veil that fully covers the face) and they said they were only interested in my work performance.”
#Karachi-based #Pakistani Physician Dr Anita Zaidi appointed President of #GenderEquality at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has also served as director of #Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/671634-dr-anita-zaidi-appointed-as-president-gender-equality-at-bill-melinda-gates-foundation
Pakistani Physician Dr Anita Zaidi has been appointed as the new president Gender Equality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In a remarkable feat for Pakistan, Zaidi is now a part of the Executive leadership team (ELT), included among the six other foundation presidents.
Zaidi has also served as the director of the Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs at Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation.
"Her team’s work is focused on vaccine development for people in the poorest parts of the world, surveillance to identify and address causes of death in children in the most under-served areas, and significantly reducing the adverse consequences of diarrheal and enteric infections on children’s health in low and middle-income countries," read the text on the official site of Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation.
Anita obtained her medical degree from the Aga Khan University in Karachi, residency training in pediatrics and fellowship training in medical microbiology from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
She undertook further training in pediatric infectious diseases from Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Masters in Tropical Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
"In 2013 Anita became the first recipient of the $1 million Caplow Children’s Prize for work in one of Karachi’s poverty-stricken fishing communities to save children’s lives. She was nominated as a notable physician of the year in 2014 by Medscape," read the website.
Woman follows in footsteps of four sisters, passes CSS exam in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: In a male-dominated society, there are women who win laurels and make their parents and families proud.
Zoha Malik Sher proved that girls are a blessing not a curse as she made her family proud by passing the Central Superior Service (CSS) written exam, following in the footsteps of her four sisters who had already passed the competitive exam and are currently holding important positions in the bureaucracy.
The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) on Thursday announced the results of the written part of the CSS exam.
According to the FPSC, 23,403 candidates applied for the exam out of whom 14,521 appeared and only 372 could clear it with the passing percentage of 2.56.
Rawalpindi-based Zoha was among those who passed the written examination.
Ms Zoha, daughter of a retired Wapda employee, told Dawn: “I am feeling blessed.” She said her father showed that having daughters was not a weakness but strength.
She said since they had no brother, people were very sympathic to her family when she was born.
“But my father never felt bad, rather he converted his weakness (having five girls) into his strength by providing us the best training and education,” she said.
“There should be no discrimination on the basis of gender, colour, caste and creed. These things should not be considered the basis of strength and weakness,” she said, adding that girls could do wonders provided they were given the confidence by their parents.
“We are an example for other girls,” Ms Zoha said.
To a query, she said after passing the second phase (interview) she wants to join the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) to serve the country.
Ms Zoha’s sisters Laila passed the CSS exam in 2008, Shireen in 2010, Sassi and Marvi in 2017.
All the five sisters attended primary school at the Presentation Convent High School in Rawalpindi.
Pakistan-born #scientist becomes first woman & #Pakistani to head biology and medicine section at Max Planck Society, #Germany’s most prestigious research body. It has 18 #Nobel laureates to its credit, at par with the best research institutions worldwide. https://www.dawn.com/news/1569093
KARACHI: Pakistan-born scientist Asifa Akhtar has become the first international female vice president of the biology and medicine section at Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Society.
The Max Planck Society is Germany’s most successful research organisation. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide.
During her term of office, Ms Akhtar will be in charge of the institutes of the sections and will also be the contact person for the Max Planck Schools.
“My heart beats for the young scientists,” the society’s website quoted Akhtar as saying.
“Academic science is a beautiful example of integration because you have people from all over the world exchanging knowledge beyond boundaries, cultures or prejudice,” she told the society in an interview.
As the vice president, Ms Akhtar also wants to advance the issue of gender equality. “Gender equality needs to be worked on continuously. There are outstanding women in science and we should make all the efforts and use our resources to win them for the Max Planck Society,” she said.
To enable gender diversity in various career domains, she said, the society needed to be more accommodating and understanding. “If we want women to progress in science, we need to enable practical solutions such as childcare and time-sharing or home office options,” she added.
Born in Karachi, she obtained her doctorate at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, in 1997.
She then moved to Germany, where she was a Postdoctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Adolf-Butenandt-Institute in Munich from 1998 to 2001.
Ms Akhtar was awarded the Early Career European Life Science Organisation Award in 2008, EMBO membership in 2013, and the Feldberg Prize in 2017. She was also elected as a member of the National Academy of Science Leopoldina in 2019.
Pakistan-born Ayesha read economics at Harvard University and later moved to New York City to pursue a career in Wall Street. She says, “In my field of work, being in Singapore makes a lot of sense. The country believes that for future economic growth, it needs to invest in technology. It is also a great gateway to the fastest growing markets in Asia and because it is a smaller country, any start-up here is international from day one because the mentality is to go out there and be an adventurer.”
More than building a business empire, Ayesha, who is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils, emphasises the importance of the human element in her work. “When I was younger, I worked in the area of human rights so I have always had a human-centred approach to using and living with technology,” says the 46-year-old, who also serves on the board of Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.
Her father was a civil servant in Pakistan and improving the lives of people was a big topic of conversation when she was a child, she explains. “I believe that the true purpose of AI is to amplify human potential. For example, with the coronavirus affecting schools and interrupting student journeys, how can we use AI to better teach students through personalised learning? Or in healthcare, how can AI assist doctors in their diagnosis or help assistants work locally with the remote supervision of doctors?”
Addo AI is currently working with a government agency from another country to develop a programme that can identify coronavirus risk locations to better divert hospital resources. She says, “My love for technology is deeply rooted in its capacity to empower citizens.”
As for the nomadic Parag, who was born in India and grew up in the United Arab Emirates, US and Germany, he found Singapore to be “by far the best” among a handful of global cities that he wanted to live in as an “urbanist”. A widely cited global intellectual, much of his life work centres around influencing the influential to build a “multipolar equilibrium”.
“I’d like an end to the cycles of superpower competition and their violent rise and decline. Since my first book, I’ve been writing non-stop about how for the first time in history, we live in a global system that is truly multipolar and multi-civilisational at the same time. Governments need to accommodate each other in order to preserve geopolitical equilibrium,” says the founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data- and scenario-based strategic advisory firm that offers tailored briefings to government leaders and corporate executives on global markets and trends.
Best of 2019: A woman farmer shows the way |The Third Pole
Almas Perween may seem diminutive, but a great deal of responsibility rests on her shoulders. She is a farmer, and a trainer of farmers, a big responsibility for a woman from a village whose name is just a number – Chak #224/EB. Her farm is about 100 kilometres from the historic city of Multan, in the Vehari district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. In many ways Perween epitomises this year’s International Women’s Day’s theme of “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, putting innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.
Challenging gender roles
“Why is cotton-picking always a woman’s job?” was the first thing I heard her say. The question carried within it the challenge to traditional gender roles. While Perween is happy to take on the mantle of what is traditionally seen as men’s work, her question took this further, asking why men cannot do what is traditionally done by women.
It has long been said that the soft, fluffy staple fibre of cotton that grows in a boll can only be picked by women’s dainty hands. Perween refused to accept this, claiming it was “just an excuse not to work”.
“It’s literally back-breaking work and takes a heavy health toll on the women,” she said. Drawing from her experience, she added, “village women work longer hours in a day than men”.
Her experience is borne out by research done elsewhere. A 2018 report on the status of rural women in Pakistan said agricultural work has undergone “feminization” employing nearly 7.2 million rural women, and becoming the largest employer of Pakistani women workers. Yet their multidimensional work with “lines between work for economic gain and work as extension of household chores (livestock management) and on the family farm” are blurred and “does not get captured”.
The report pointed out that for women in the agricultural sector (primarily concentrated in dairy and livestock) the “returns to labour are low: only 40% 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 (USD 5.5 billion), is 57% of all work done by women, and is 2.6% of GDP of the country.”
Cotton is one of the many crops grown on Perween’s fields. She manages 23 acres of farmland (of which eight acres belong to her mother). With her brother – three years her senior – the family grows maize, wheat, sugarcane and cotton.
Despite the success, it has not always been easy for Perween to take the risks she has. She has been lucky to have the full backing of her family. It is not just her brother’s trust, but also her father’s firm support in the face of criticism from both villagers and the wider family, that has helped her find her own path.
“It has not been easy,” she said, “but it is not impossible either,” Perween says, with a note of triumph in her voice.
The number of women working outside the home and earning a wage is growing at twice the rate of population growth in Pakistan. That means Pakistani businesses may finally stop ignoring women's basic needs... like comfortable, affordable undergarments.
The data on Pakistani women’s rising economic power is staggering. The female labour force participation rate rose from under 16% in 1998 to a peak of 25% in 2015 before declining slightly once again to 22.8% by 2018. That means there are millions of women who are currently working who might not have been, had labour force participation rates for women stayed the same.
The total number of women in Pakistan’s labour force – earning a wage outside the home – rose from just 8.2 million women in 1998 to an estimated 23.7 million by 2020, according to Profit’s analysis of data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. That represents an average increase of 4.9% per year compared to an average of just a 2.4% per year increase in the total population. In short, the growth in the number of women entering the labour force is more than twice as high as the total rate of population increase.
All of those women now in the workforce have more purchasing power than ever before. Women have always had some measure of purchasing discretion for their households. But now, with their own incomes, they have more ability than ever before to make discretionary purchases for themselves, rather than just making decisions for their households. That includes buying more comfortable undergarments.
Enabling more Pakistani women to work
UZMA QURESH|MAY 07, 2019
There is a broad consensus that no country can progress without the full participation of women in public life .
Most of the positive attributes associated with development – rising productivity, growing personal freedom and mobility, and innovation – require increasing the participation of excluded groups.
Pakistan stands near the bottom of women’s participation in the workforce. This lack of participation is at the root of many of the demographic and economic constraints that Pakistan faces.
It is in that context that the World Bank, in its Pakistan@100 initiative, has identified inclusive growth as one of the key factors to the country’s successful transition to an upper-middle income country by 2047.
Pakistan’s inclusive growth targets require women’s participation in the workforce to rise from a current 26 percent to 45 percent .
Women’s participation rate has almost doubled in 22 years (1992-2014) but the increase isn’t happening fast enough and with much of our population in the youth category, we need to rapidly take measures to address gaps in women’s work status to achieve our goal.
Focus should be on the following priority areas:
Increase access to education, reproductive health services: Half of Pakistani women have not attended school. Presently only 10 percent of women have post-secondary education whereas their chances of working for pay increase three-fold with post-secondary education compared to women with primary education. More educated women are also more likely to get better quality jobs.
Pakistan also couldn’t meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing maternal mortality ratio to 150. The government must implement anti early age marriage laws and invest in transforming behaviors of parents and society on such practices. This will allow girls to have more years of education and have better reproductive health outcomes. Fertility decline related behavioral change efforts are also critical in addition to improved service delivery to enable women to have healthier lives and find better economic opportunities .
Unpaid Care Work and informal economy: Women are 10 times more involved in household chores, child and elderly care than men in Pakistan. This leads to women being more time poor and having less time to spend in gaining skills and getting jobs.
Social norms also do not support women’s involvement in economic activity outside their homes and this forces them to either fall back in the informal sector (women are heavily concentrated in it) and rely upon unskilled or low skilled jobs (mostly home-based) or to simply not participate in the wider economy. Adoption and effective implementation of home-based and domestic workers laws can address informal economy issues of extremely low wages and lack of access to social security.
The burden of unpaid care work with high fertility rate is in many ways at the root of all of these problems because more children result in more unpaid care work and it also means that women will be in poorer health conditions especially in lower and middle-income levels rendering them unable to acquire the skills needed for gainful employment opportunities.
While recognizing women’s overwhelming engagement in unpaid care work, private and public sector must contribute to reducing the burden by for example investing in daycare centers and adequate maternity and paternity leaves. As part of a wider behavioral transformation process, men in the family need to start sharing unpaid care work with women.
Safer public spaces: Less than half of women surveyed in a 2013 study reported that they feel safe while walking around in their neighborhoods and such women are also more likely to work than women who do not feel safe. Effective implementation of laws on sexual harassment and violence against women will encourage more women to engage in economic activity outside their homes.
Women Left Behind: India’s Falling Female Labor Participation
India’s female labor force participation is the lowest in South Asia.
While labor force participation is declining globally on average, women’s participation has increased in high-income countries that have instituted gender-focused policies like parental leave, subsidized childcare, and increased job flexibility. On the Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum (WEF), India has fallen four places from 2018, now ranking 112 of 153 countries, largely due to its economic gender gap. In less than 15 years, India has fallen 39 places on the WEF’s economic gender gap, from 110th in 2006 to 149th in 2020. Among its South Asian neighbors, India now has the lowest female labor force participation, falling behind Pakistan and Afghanistan, which had half of India’s FLFP in 1990.
Only 7% of urban #Indian #women have paid jobs.....the share of Indian women who actually find a perch in the workforce is lower than in #SaudiArabia, where 22% do. 53% of #Indonesian women have jobs.
But the dearth of working women in India is not simply a reflection of cultural preferences. Many women on the sidelines of the economy are not there by choice. They say they would like to work if they could. Were they all to get their wish, it would add over 100m women to the workforce, by one calculation. That is more than the total number of workers, male and female, in France, Germany and Italy combined.
Moreover, Indians are not as hostile to women in work as the employment numbers suggest. Their answers to questions like “Should men have more right to a job than women?” are more egalitarian than poll responses in Indonesia, where fully 53% of women pursue work outside the home. Despite that, the share of Indian women who actually find a perch in the workforce is a shade lower than in Saudi Arabia, where 22% do. And in so far as social attitudes do hold women back, they are not immutable. Indeed, employing women is often a catalyst for social enlightenment, rather than a consequence of it.
India will soon end China’s long run as the world’s most populous country. But by some projections its workforce will not exceed China’s until mid-century, even though Indians are much younger. One reason is that so few women in India are in paid work (see article). The International Labour Organisation says that only a fifth of adult women had a job or sought one in 2019, compared with three-fifths in China. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a local research firm, put the share of urban women in or looking for work at just 7% in November.During the pandemic, women have typically been the first in India to lose their jobs and the last to regain them. School shutdowns have forced some to drop out of the labour force to look after children who would normally be in class. Young women who have been unable to study, train or work during the pandemic are being married off instead. That is a worrying development. Whereas women in other countries often withdraw from the workforce when burdened with a child, women in India drop out when burdened with a husband.Some would say that nothing should, or can, be done about this. If Indian women choose not to work outside the home, the argument runs, that is their business. Dropping out of the labour force is a status symbol for upwardly mobile households, showing they are able to get by on the husband’s earnings alone.
World Bank: “28 women for every 100 men participate in the labor force in India and Pakistan”. #GenderEquity #SouthAsia #India #Pakistan https://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/28
28 women for every 100 men participate in the labor force in India and Pakistan — this compares to 64 women for every 100 men globally, and is the lowest in the world outside the middle east. This dismal statistic highlights a key development challenge: what policies can contribute to achieving gender equity in wages and labor force participation?
The good news is that a recent surge of work in South Asia formally documents the mechanisms underpinning low women’s labor force participation in the region, and proposes policy and interventions that can meaningfully reduce these gaps. There are many excellent reviews of the literature (to cite a few: Fletcher et al. (2017) focus on India, Jayachandran (2019) on social norms and women’s LFP globally, Duflo (2012) on women’s empowerment and economic development more broadly) — this blog simply highlights some of this recent work. The evidence stretches across demand and supply side side explanations, and their interactions in equilibrium.
Mobility constraints A wave of protests in India in 2012, motivated by a brutal sexual assault on a woman commuting to work, highlighted the risks women take when they choose to commute to opportunity. Recent work by Borker (2017) shows that women college students in Delhi are willing to forego admission in higher-ranked schools to as to avoid having to commute along relatively unsafe routes.
Education While interventions to increase safety reduce gender based violence, the potential to correct the attitudes that are the root cause offers enormous hope. Dhar et al (2018) evaluate an intervention at scale targeting attitudes towards restrictive gender norms among lower secondary students. They find large shifts, for both boys and girls, in not only attitudes but also behaviors, suggesting early interventions targeting these attitudes can be effective in shifting norms.
Norms and family While women themselves may want to work, they may face pressures from their family to stay at home. Subramanian (2020) uses a job search platform in urban Pakistan to study how characteristics of jobs affect women’s decisions to apply. She finds that women are much more likely to apply to jobs with female supervisors.
Psychological traps While women are constrained by these norms and attitudes, interventions can effectively support women to overcome these barriers. McKelway (2019) demonstrates that women can find themselves in a “belief trap”: they do not learn they can overcome these barriers because they do not believe that they can.
Husband’s wages and wage gaps Perhaps most surprising about the decrease in women’s labor force participation in India since 1990 is that it occurred during a period of rapid wage growth. Bhargava (2018) shows that married women’s labor supply is more negatively elastic to husbands' wages than it is positively elastic to their own wages
“Gendered” jobs When women’s employment is more accepted in some sectors of the economy, growth in those sectors can generate increases in women’s employment. Heath and Mobarak (2015) study the rapid growth of the garment sector in Bangladesh, which employs 15% of young women nationally.
Role models If social norms shape attitudes, increases in women’s labor force participation or women in positions of authority can shift attitudes, generating positive feedback.
#Pakistan has significantly improves score on the entrepreneurship indicator of #Woman, #Business & #Law (WBL) index, from 50 to 75 points. #WorldBank index covers 8 areas; mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, & pension https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/802154-pakistan-s-wbl-index-up-25-points
The rise is mainly attributed to reforms introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), enabling women to register a company effectively and promptly, it added.
In the 2021 report, Pakistan has improved its score on two indicators; entrepreneurship and workplace, resulting in upgrading the overall score to 55.6, from 49.4 in 2020. It has been included in five economies that have introduced reforms to improve entrepreneurship opportunities for women, the report showed.
It is encouraging to note that from March 2020 to March 2021, SECP registered a total of 21,168 companies, of which 5,145 companies have at least one woman director, which accounts for 24.3 percent of the total incorporation during the period. SECP, cognizant of the vital role played by women in economic growth, has introduced several steps to improve gender mainstreaming within the organisation.
The recent measures included an increase in maternity leave from 90 to 180 days, 48 percent representation of women in new hiring, and 23 percent representation in recent promotions.
Pakistani writer-dramatist Haseena Moin of ‘Dhoop Kinarey’ fame dies in Karachi
The women in Moin’s dramas were ambitious career women, a rare sight even in Bollywood those days
Pakistani dramatist Haseena Moin, who was loved both in India and Pakistan for progressive shows such as “Tanhaiyaan” and “Dhoop Kinarey” and also penned the dialogues for Raj Kapoor’s blockbuster “Henna”, died here on Friday. She was 80.
Moin’s nephew Saeed told reporters she was getting ready to leave for Lahore when she had a cardiac arrest and died before she could receive any medical aid.
Moin, who epitomised the shared cultural heritage of the subcontinent with her relatable characters, particularly her strong women protagonists, was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, on November 20, 1941.
After Partition, her family moved to Pakistan and lived in Rawalpindi. They then moved to Lahore and eventually settled in Karachi. She completed her post-graduation from Karachi University in 1963.
A recipient of the Pride of Performance award for her extraordinary contribution to the arts in Pakistan, Moin was among Pakistan’s most respected and successful dramatists with a prolific career that stretched beyond Pakistani television to Bollywood, Pakistani movies, and included Indians shows such as “Tanha” as well as “Kash-m-Kash” on Doordarshan.
But it was her career as a drama writer that gave Moin enduring fame as people from both sides of the border lapped up her PTV shows, including “Ankahi”, “Tanhaiyaan”, “Dhoop Kinarey”, “Aahat”, “Uncle Urfi”, “Shehzori”, “Des Pardes” and “Aansoo”.
The women in Moin’s dramas were ambitious career women, a rare sight even in Bollywood those days.
In an interview, Moin, who took a break to fight breast cancer for about four years, said she realised when she came back that the world of Pakistani television had completely changed.
“The atmosphere we had created in 40 years, the kind of woman we brought up, who was bold, independent, could defend herself, was happy and spread happiness, that woman is no longer there,” she told Samina Peerzada, the star of her show “Nazdeekiyan”.
“She is now getting beaten, crying. You just pick up the remote and you will see women crying everywhere. I could not write something like this,” she said in an interview in 2018 that has gone viral on social media after news of her death came in and people flooded platforms with tributes.
She was the one who introduced Zeba Bakhtiar to Raj Kapoor for the movie “Henna”, a cross-border love story also starring Rishi Kapoor that she wrote.
Moin was the first Pakistani writer to write for a Bollywood film. Raj Kapoor wanted her to write the dialogues for his dream project and was keen to cast Pakistani actor Shehnaz Sheikh. After she declined, Moin recommended Bakhtiar as the leading lady.
The film, completed by Randhir Kapoor after Raj Kapoor’s death, was successful but Moin’s name was not mentioned in the credits, following her request due to tensions following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992.
Moin’s other popular shows include “Mere Dard ko Jo Zuban Milay”, “Kaisa Yeh Junoon”, “Dhundle Raaste” and “Shayad ke Bahar Aaye”.
Moin had started writing from her teenage years, coming up with a weekly column by the title of ‘Bhai Jan’ for a local publication when she was still in school.
She became popular with her plays for Radio Pakistan Karachi’s “Studio Number 9.
Moin became a teacher but her writing career took off when PTV offered her to write a play in 1969 for Eid and she came up with a light-hearted comedy “Happy Eid Mubarak”.
According to Pakistani media reports, Moin was last seen in public at a Pakistan Day event at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi on March 23. A day before that, she visited the Arts Council of Pakistan to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Inspiring Story of "Ustad" Rozina Naz: A homeless #Pakistani #woman who went from living in abandoned bus in #Karachi to painting highway trucks. #art #TruckArt https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1837376#.YGtG12OLX3k.twitter
Rozina Naz, a single mother with two children, paints trucks and buses in a small settlement on the outskirts of Karachi
The truck artist says her profession has brought back color into her life
KARACHI: Two decades ago, an abandoned old bus that stood on top of a mound of scrap was home to Rozina Naz and her two children. Today, she is an accomplished artist, known as Ustad Rozi Khan, who paints buses and trucks in the very same neighborhood on the outskirts of Karachi.
Newly widowed and homeless 19 years ago, Naz had moved her family into the old bus, taking up odd jobs to feed herself and her children. But it was when she began visiting a painter’s shop years later, that she realized buses like her home could be her canvas.
“When my husband died, I had no one by my side and was all alone. I spotted a bus that stood on a heap of scrap and started living there with my two children,” she told Arab News at the Mawach Goth bus stand on Saturday.
Naz kept up with different odd jobs and the routine continued well after she was able to move out of the bus into a real home.
“I didn’t give up,” she said. “I was thinking, this time will pass too. I didn’t want to spread my hands in front of anyone.”
Her life changed when she began visiting a painter’s shop to unwind and read newspapers after a hard day’s work.
“The owner of the shop had two or three students,” she said. “When they left for home, he would put their wages in their hands.”
“I thought, this is a good way to earn a living.”
Naz was good at drawing in school and she put these skills to work painting trucks, a popular form of art decoration native to South Asia which features elaborate florals, calligraphy, landscapes and poetry painted on large cargo trucks in vivid colors.
The trucks, which colorfully dot inter-city highways, are painted almost exclusively by men in Pakistan.
“Many people would say: ‘You’re a woman and this line of work is not meant for you,’” she said.
“But I told them, it’s just another form of work and it has nothing to do with my gender.”
“If someone makes these statements, I don’t pay attention and continue to do my work,” she said. “I only think of my children.”
Now, armed with her paint buckets, Naz goes about her day on a motorcycle she bought on installments.
“My life became colorful when I started painting,” Naz said. “I fell in love with colors.”
“It’s been 19 years since I started using this brush. I still work in this small neighborhood, but I can sketch any design,” she continued proudly.
Levi Jeans' New #Pakistan Store is Run Entirely by #Women. It is 168-year-old #international clothing brand's first owned-and-operated store in Pakistan that’s staffed entirely by women. The store is located in #Lahore. #apparel https://sourcingjournal.com/denim/denim-brands/levis-lahore-pakistan-store-women-retail-workers-286993/ via @SourcingJournal
The opening is a win for Pakistani women, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit vulnerable demographics especially hard and exposed an increasing need to learn alternative work skills. According to Maha Butt, the new store’s manager, Levi’s launch helps open a new line of work for those most affected.
“This is a great initiative that heads in the right direction to break gender-based stereotypes and perspectives,” she said. “It’s great that we can showcase retail as a good and rewarding career option for women.”
One of the world’s largest sources of funding for developing countries, the World Bank Group reported that while women make up 48.5 percent of Pakistan’s population, only about 22 percent are employed. To close that gap, companies throughout the global denim supply chain launched targeted initiatives to support Pakistani women.
In March, Pakistan-based Artistic Milliners launched HERessentials, a pilot program that helps women working within its factories develop social and technical skills needed to respond to environmental and socioeconomic changes. The program is established by the same organizers of HERproject, a skills-building initiative that’s also garnered support from denim heavyweights including Levi’s.
The denim brand noted that it has more work to do to connect Pakistani women with employment opportunities. Currently, the company reports that 14 percent of women make up its Pakistani retail workforce. It aims to increase that number to 25 percent by the end of 2021, and up to 40 percent by the end of 2022. A second women-run store is slated to open in Karachi later this year.
“I am so excited about this amazing store from our team in Pakistan,” said Elizabeth A. Morrison, who joined Levi Strauss as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer last year. “It builds on and challenges us to advocate for what’s right while capturing our renewed commitment to focusing on ‘our insides’ and our intention to create a company that mirrors our consumers and communities.”
The initiative is part of Levi’s greater commitment to having better representation throughout the company. Last June, it published its first-annual diversity report which showed that women make up 55 percent of the company’s corporate division and 58 percent of its retail segment, but the majority of management positions are fulfilled by men. Males make up 59 percent of leadership positions, which LS&Co. defines as the top 250 leaders in the company. Men fulfill 56 percent of executive management positions and 67 percent of LS&Co.’s board of directors.
In a First for Pakistan, a Woman Is Cleared to Become a Supreme Court Justice
Justice Ayesha A. Malik’s nomination, intensely opposed by some lawyers that have threatened to strike, was hailed by others as an important victory in improving representation for women.
Pakistan cleared the way for the first woman in the country’s history to become a Supreme Court justice, when a judicial commission on Thursday approved the elevation of Justice Ayesha A. Malik to the top court.
The nomination of Justice Malik, a justice on Lahore’s High Court, was hailed by lawyers and activists who saw it as a rare victory after decades of struggle to secure greater representation and rights for women in Pakistan’s largely conservative and male-dominated society.
“This is historic,” said Aliya Hamza Malik, a member of parliament from the governing Tehreek-e-Insaf bloc. “It is a defining moment for women’s empowerment in the country.”
Her nomination, which was backed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, will now go to a parliamentary committee, which is expected to confirm her appointment to a 10-year term.
The path to Justice Malik’s nomination was not smooth. She has faced bitter opposition from a large section of the legal community, and some lawyers have threatened to go on strike if she becomes part of the Supreme Court bench.
Last September, the judicial commission rejected Justice Malik’s elevation after four out of its eight members opposed her, citing her lack of seniority. Justice Malik is fourth in seniority on the Lahore High Court, which she joined in 2012.
Despite the opposition, the country’s chief justice continued to support her elevation to the top court, and legal advocacy groups have discounted the argument that lack of seniority is a disqualifying factor for nomination.
“This elevation has come 74 years too late, and we should all celebrate that some change to an all-male bench has finally come,” said Benazir Jatoi, an Islamabad-based lawyer, referring to the creation of an independent Pakistan in 1947.
“Our judicial system is alien to female representation,” Alia Zareen Abbasi, another Islamabad-based lawyer, noted. “Despite years and years of struggle and having very able female judges, none was able to make it to the Supreme Court. Even in high courts, the low, almost negligible percentage of female representation is very alarming.”
Some observers cautioned that one victory for women was far from enough in a country where sexual assault and discrimination remain largely unpunished crimes.
“If women continue to be shackled by patriarchy and regressive interpretations of Islam, we will continue to not progress in terms of developing the human capital required to succeed nationally and globally,” said Zarmeeneh Rahim, an Islamabad-based lawyer.
Still, she said, “to finally see a woman sit on the highest court in the land is a small step forward in that struggle.”
For a long time we have known that improved transport accessibility leads to more opportunities and better lives.
ANDREW DABALENSHOMIK MEHNDIRATTA|JANUARY 24, 2022
Accessibility describes how easy (or difficult) it is for people to reach services and opportunities. When you look at the data, significant accessibility gaps persist around the world. Globally 51% of individuals living in low-income countries reside within an hour of a city compared to 91% of individuals in high-income countries. This limited access to urban centers hinders rural populations from accessing services and opportunities, including healthcare, education, jobs, and markets. Gender plays an important role as well: as these findings from Pakistan illustrate, women typically must cover greater distances to reach basic services. Even for people living in cities, accessibility may vary depending on the availability of public transport, the impact of traffic congestion.
Lack of access is systematically linked to inferior development outcomes, even more so if motorized transport is not available. The inability to travel to healthcare facilities, for instance, has been associated with increased mortality and morbidity from treatable conditions. Conversely, improved access is often synonymous with improved development outcomes. For example, women with access to roads in Pakistan are twice more likely (14% vs 28%) to go to pre-natal consultations. In rural Morocco, girls’ enrollment in primary schools increased from 17% to 54% when their access to roads improved.
Looking particularly at rural roads investments, the construction of a new road can lead to a chain of positive impacts. When a rural community gets connected to the road network, people who could not reach healthcare, schools, or other essential services before are suddenly able to do so. Workers can access more and better jobs. Farmers can sell their products in more distant markets. But these outcomes can only materialize if rural road projects are carefully planned and prioritized. Also, while investments in road networks are often a critical first step toward enhancing accessibility, they should be integrated into a broader investment package targeting social and technological development overall.
However, transforming this knowledge into action had been hard to operationalize. Lack of data regarding the transport network, opportunities, limited computing power to calculate travel times in large areas and lack of consistent framework had made it hard for us to take this academic research into an operational reality. We needed to understand exactly which transport projects will have the highest impact on accessibility? How would this accessibility transform into household welfare? And how do we create tools to inform planning and investment decisions?
To address these questions, the World Bank’s Transport and Poverty and Equity teams jointly developed a new framework that relies on high-resolution mapping and other sophisticated analytical tools to provide a more granular view of how rural road infrastructure can benefit communities.
We are now able to deploy all that knowledge into operational action, by developing an analytical framework that highlights spatial disparities in access to services and opportunities, calculates the expected gains in accessibility from investments into road infrastructure and thereby informs the placement of transport investments throughout the region.
A Film About Bringing #Climbing to Girls in #Pakistan.
#Women in a remote #village in Pakistan are introduced to climbing for the first time with a public climbing wall built with more than 500 holds. #rockclimbing #GilgitBaltistan #climbing https://gripped.com/profiles/a-film-about-bringing-climbing-to-girls-in-pakistan/
Climbing for a Reason is a nonprofit co-founded by Luis Birkner and Mateo Barrenengoa which strives to bring rock climbing to underprivileged communities around the world.
In August 2021, Birkner and Barrenengoa visited in Daskoor with famed Italian alpinist Tamara Lunger and Italo-Egyptian climber Wafaa Amer. Over three weeks, they developed the region’s first rock climbing area with 19 new sport routes up to 5.11c and built a public climbing wall with more than 500 holds. They also taught climbing safety practices and donated enough climbing gear to last the community for years. They also helped the locals start a climbing club, the first in the Shigar Valley.
In an early press release about the project stated, “Watching these girls climb for the first time in their lives, watching them play with each other… on their new climbing wall and on their own rocks, and seeing them feel like they were fighting a history of repressed women was priceless.” After her trip, Lunger said, “I leave Daskoor with mixed feelings. I have really grown fond of these girls and they have become almost a little part of me, on the other hand I know, that now they will have to find in themselves the will and the strength to continue and grow what we started.”
In Amer’s Instagram post below, she talks about not having access to climbing. Some of her words below are translated to: “As a child I had a hard time practicing this sport, climbing. I have done it secretly for years because due to my culture I was not allowed to go where I want, when I want, because I’m a woman. I was able to do it only thanks to many people who helped me… Now I too have managed to give to the children of Shigar.”
Climbing for a Reason is an international non-profit project that seeks to teach low-income communities to climb on their local rocks while also jumpstarting climbing-specific tourism and empowering local kids. Bircher said they want “to try to turn local communities into climbers of their own rocks and give them the tools so that in some way they can later develop tourism.”
Pakistan’s generational shift
By Dr Ayesha RazzaqueMay 22, 2022
Last year saw the publication of ‘Womansplaining – Navigating Activism, Politics and Modernity in Pakistan,’ a book edited by Federal Minister Sherry Rehman to which I was able to contribute a chapter. It connected education with women’s rights and argued that indigenous movements like the Aurat March should focus on education as a core part of their agenda.
Detractors of Pakistan’s women’s rights movement have been taking potshots at it by claiming that the issues it raises are not the issues of ‘real’ (read: rural) women. Put aside for a minute the fact that Pakistan’s rural population now accounts for 62 per cent, down from 72 per cent in 1980, and is on a steady decline. While the numbers may differ, and women’s power to negotiate may differ, rural and urban women share basic challenges and better education can yield similar opportunities and improvements in life circumstances.
Indigenous progressive and women’s rights movements have adopted the cause of education as an agenda item but should make it front and center, specifically K-12 education for girls in rural areas. New data further substantiates that connection with numbers. Education up to the higher secondary level, just the education that rural schools offer today, is the enabler that brings increased women’s labour force participation, delayed first marriage, lower rates of consanguinity, increased income, increased spousal income, and is a contributing factor to greater freedom of movement and communication – all positives.
Studies exploring the relationships between levels of education and life circumstances around the world are plentiful and capture the situation at a point and place in time. The Learning and Educational Achievements in Pakistan Schools (LEAPS) programme is qualitatively different because it already spans a period of almost two decades. The LEAPS programme has been tracking lower- and middle-income households in 120 randomly selected villages across three districts in rural Punjab since 2003. It has been revisiting them since then, most recently for the sixth time in 2018, roughly once every three years. That makes it one of the largest and longest panels of households in lower- and middle-income countries. This study is also unique as it looks at return on investment in education beyond an individual’s income and looks into the possible spillover into life circumstances and quality-of-life which is especially interesting for those interested in women empowerment and feminist movements.
In this latest round it surveyed 2006 women now aged 20-30. All these women were from the same 120 birth villages and have been tracked to their marital homes within or outside the village if they have married, migrated or moved for any other reason. Preliminary descriptive results of the long-running LEAPS study tell interesting stories. The headline finding of LEAPS investigators is that Pakistan is in the midst of a ‘generational shift’ where, for the first time in its education history, we have a ‘critical mass of moderately educated women’.
In this generation only 18.7 per cent of rural women are without an education, down from 75.5 per cent from their mothers’ generation. Nearly 50 per cent have an education ranging from a primary to secondary education, up from just 20 per cent in the previous generation. A stunning 22.9 per cent have a higher secondary or above education, up from an almost nothing 0.3 per cent in their previous generation.
Existing plans, at least in the domain of education, remain unguided by some of the very excellent evidence that is available. Meanwhile, the Planning Commission is organizing a ‘Turnaround Pakistan’ conference perhaps as early as May 28 to conduct national consultations. Whether a hurriedly thrown together conference can change the way business is done remains to be seen.
Pakistani UN envoy Dr. Nafis Sadik, a champion of women's health and rights around the world, dies at 92
Born in Jaunpur in British-ruled India, Nafis Sadik was the daughter of Iffat Ara and Muhammad Shoaib, a former Pakistani finance minister. After receiving her medical degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi, she began her career working in women's and children's wards in Pakistani armed forces hospitals from 1954 to 1963. The following year she was appointed head of the health section of the government Planning Commission.
Nafis Sadik, a Pakistani doctor who championed women's health and rights and spearheaded the breakthrough action plan adopted by 179 countries at the 1994 U.N. population conference, died five days before her 93rd birthday, her son said late Monday.
Omar Sadik said his mother died of natural causes at her home in New York on Sunday night.
Nafis Sadik joined the U.N. Population Fund in 1971, became its assistant executive director in 1977, and was appointed executive director in 1987 by then Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar after the sudden death of its chief, Rafael Salas. She was the first woman to head a major United Nations program that is voluntarily funded.
In June 1990, Perez de Cuellar appointed Sadik to be secretary-general of the fifth U.N. International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, and she became the architect of its groundbreaking program of action which recognized for the first time that women have the right to control their reproductive and sexual health and to choose whether to become pregnant.
The Cairo conference also reached consensus on a series of goals including universal primary education in all countries by 2015 — a goal that still hasn't been met — and wider access for women to secondary and higher education. It also set goals to reduce infant and child mortality and maternal mortality and to provide access to reproductive and sexual health services, including family planning.
While the conference broke a taboo on discussing sexuality, it stopped short of recognizing that women have the right to control decisions about when they have sex and when they get married.
Natalia Kanem, current executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, called Sadik a "proud champion of choice and tireless advocate for women's health, rights and empowerment."
"Her bold vision and leadership in Cairo set the world on an ambitious path," a journey that she said continued at the 1995 U.N. women's conference in Beijing and with adoption of U.N. development goals since 2000 that include achieving gender equality and many issues in the Cairo program of action.
Since Cairo, Kanem said, "millions of girls and young women have grown up knowing that their bodies belong to them, and that their futures are there to shape."
Empowering Women in Pakistan’s Economy: Lessons from Bangladesh
Written by Noorulain Naseem, Hadiqa Sohail
October 3, 2022
Empowering and including women in the economy could be the untapped potential necessary to drive growth and development that is essential for reviving a staggering economy. Pakistan’s GDP could increase by 60 percent by 2025 if the female labor force becomes equal to the male labor force. However, to improve the access of women to the workforce in Pakistan, a deep knowledge of cultural and institutional constraints is important. Pakistan has the lowest level of gender parity when compared with other South Asian states. Offering an important comparative context, Bangladesh’s recent progress is a compelling case in particular as it is a relatively younger country, also has a Muslim majority, and faced alarming levels of poverty in the past but has been able to revive its economy, literacy rate, life expectancy and increase women participation in the workforce to 35 percent in recent years. Bangladesh’s can offer a powerful lesson in successful policies that bring women into economic development.
Living standards for many Pakistani women, and lack of access to health and education especially in rural areas are a substantial obstacle to economic empowerment. This is especially true in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) regions, where only 1 in 10 girls can read, and 50 percent of young girls have never stepped into a school. In Balochistan—which has the lowest female literacy rate of 24 percent in all of Pakistan’s provinces—67 percent of girls are out of school and female labor participation stands at just 4.9 percent. In addition, the health sector of rural sectors, especially the ex-FATA region, reflects dire conditions: women who give birth under medical care falls at around 26 percent in the ex-FATA regions. Lack of education, poor health, and absence from the formal economy eventually result in low levels of essential skillsets and financial independency.
The dire economic stagnation and lack of gender parity in Pakistan can be addressed by the introduction of women-centric developmental strategies by state institutions, international aid organizations, and endorsement of women’s economic empowerment at local level leadership. Community level programs can invest in building the sense of urgency to invest in women education, health, encourage entrepreneurship, with the intention of building a women workforce; that is skilled and facilitated at state and community level to corresponding industry and production requirements. This investment will be effective in twofold manner: first, internally, it will help drive the young female population’s appetite to achieve milestones in education, health, and contribute to innovation and in turn to the growth of economy. Externally, Pakistan’s untapped female skilled labor can help position Pakistan better in the competition with the regional and global economies. Calling for the female youth towards action and share responsibility, while also preparing and training this potential workforce can enable Pakistani women to help the state and its communities in overcoming the economic and development challenges.
#Pakistan #women (137/6) beat #India women (124 all out) in #Sylhet #Bangladesh. #PAKWvINDW #WomensAsiaCup2022. https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/ind-v-pak-2022-asia-cup-sylhet-india-coach-powar-defends-tactics-pakistan-younger-players-to-feel-the-pressure-1338749
Kainat and Saleema Imtiaz, a mother-daughter duo, are presenting Pakistan at the Women's Asia Cup 2022. Kainat is playing for the national team while Saleema is an umpire.
From Pakistan to the Philippines, women break open closed industries
Female pioneers make their mark as combat pilots, cricketers and chip technologists
At the other end of the subcontinent, Urooj Mumtaz grew up playing cricket behind a carpet factory in Karachi, Pakistan. As a teen, she was captaining a boys’ team at the local club. “There still isn’t a girls’ team at the club,” Mumtaz told Nikkei Asia in an interview.
In 2006, she went on to captain Pakistan’s national cricket team, and later became the nation’s first woman to commentate an international men’s cricket match.
Both Alam and Mumtaz have managed to score a few wins on equality in their countries. Basics such as airfare, accommodation and gear have been secured, but several innings remain to pay parity.
“If the (men) are getting 100% then we are getting maybe 30 to 40%,” Alam said in an interview, noting the gap was narrower now than when they were making 5% to 10% a decade ago. Mumtaz said there was a fivefold gender pay differential in the highest category of cricket in Pakistan.
“When you get better facilities, when you pay them better … when you give them better travel, better hotels to stay at, everything translates into better results,” she said.
Several players and branding agencies have called on cricket boards to sharpen the spotlight on female cricketers via marketing campaigns. More fans would mean bigger television audiences and the promise of lucrative endorsement deals, which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars for individual cricketers.
Pakistan’s women continue international return
Hopeful return of Pakistan
The women's game has a relatively short history in the South Asian country with their national team formed in 2010. After years of rapid development, an eight-year hiatus saw progress stall.
Since June 2022, however, the women’s game has been re-ignited across the country. The PFF wasted no time in re-organising their national team, sending them to last September's SAFF Women's Championship before they traveled to Saudi Arabia at the start of this year. For Head Coach Adeel Rizki, their impressive showings upon a return to international football came as a timely boost.
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