Women's Day: Gender Gap in Education Narrowing in Pakistan

Women's education, literacy and labor force participation levels remain low in Pakistan but the gender gap is declining in terms of literacy rates and mean years of schooling, according to Pakistan Labor Force Survey 2017-18.  There is about one year gap between men and women in terms of education attained. On average, a Pakistani male born after 1995 will leave school in 8th grade. A female born at the same time will leave in 7th grade.

At a recent Islamabad event organized as part of the World Bank's "Girls Learn, Women Earn" campaign,   Mr. Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, said increasing years of schooling helps women become more productive members of society.






Pakistan Labor Force survey provides information on the country's labor force characteristics. It is based on a representative sample of 43,361 urban and rural households. For this purpose, total sample size is evenly distributed into four sub samples, each to be enumerated in a given quarter.

Mean Years of Schooling in Pakistan. Source: Labor Force Survey 2017-18


As of 2017-18, the overall literacy rate in Pakistan is 62.3%. Among males above age 10, 72.5% are literate. Females in the same age group are at 51.8%, trailing 20.7% behind their male counterparts. The percentage of women participating in the labor force is 24.9 as compared to 82.7 for men.

History of Literacy in Pakistan


Educational Attainment in Pakistan. Source: Labor Force Survey 2017-18

At a recent Islamabad event organized as part of the World Bank's   "Girls Learn, Women Earn" campaign,   Mr. Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, said increasing years of schooling helps women become more productive members of society. He said: “Every additional year of schooling for a girl increases her future earnings by up to 10%. Pakistan can use the untapped economic potential of women in the workforce and estimates indicate this can boost the economy by up to 30%, by empowering women and girls to expand their skills, access to information, mobility, and access to finance and assets.”

Increasing Years of Schooling Leads to Women Having Fewer Babies

Prime Minister Imran Khan's government has launched two programs with the aim of particularly helping underprivileged women: Ehsaas and Kifaalat. These programs are headed by Dr. Sania Nishtar, a highly accomplished woman named special assistant to the prime minister. Speaking at  "Girls Learn, Women Earn", Dr. Nishtar said:

“Government of Pakistan’s Ehsaas program has a very serious intent to drive forward the agenda of women empowerment. Ehsaas stringently follows fifty percent rule across the board for women inclusion in all Ehsaas initiatives including interest free loans, scholarships and asset transfers".

 "Likewise, Kafaalat that has recently been launched by the Prime Minister will ensure financial and digital inclusion of 7 million disadvantaged women across Pakistan who will now benefit from the monthly stipend of Rs. 2,000 along with access to bank accounts and affordable smart phones,” she added.

https://youtu.be/G2qZuAub7rE



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Riaz Haq said…
The literacy rate increased by 1.6pc to 62.3pc in 2017-18, from 60.7pc in 2014-15, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan launched on Monday.

The survey stated: “Pakistan social and living standards measurement (PSLM) survey could not be conducted in 2016-17 and 2017-18 on account of ‘Population & Housing Census in 2017’. However, according to Labour Force Survey 2017-18, literacy rate trends shows 62.3pc in 2017-18 (as compared to 60.7pc in 2014-15), males (from 71.6pc to 72.5pc) and females (from 49.6pc to 51.8pc).”

An area-wise analysis suggests that the literacy rate increased in both rural (51.9pc to 53.3pc) and urban (76pc to 76.6pc) areas

“It is also observed male-female disparity narrowing down with time span. Literacy rate increases in all provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (54.1pc to 55.3pc), Punjab (61.9pc to 64.7pc) and Balochistan (54.3pc to 55.5pc) except in Sindh (63.0pc to 62.2pc) where marginal decrease has been observed.”

Education expenditure

The survey said that expenditure on education was estimated at 2.4pc of GDP in 2017-18, compared to 2.2pc in 2016-17.

Education experts have called for at least 4pc of the GDP to go towards education.

The survey said the government is “committed” to increasing financial resources for education. It said education expenditure has risen gradually since 2013-14.

Enrolment

While discussing enrolment at the school and college level, the survey said that an increase of 7.3pc was observed in pre-primary enrolment at the national level, which increased 12.27 million in 2017-18 compared to 11.4m in 2016-17.

It said there were a total of 172,200 functioning primary schools – grades one to five – in 2017-18, with 519,000 teachers across the country. These schools had an overall enrolment of 22.9m students, an increase of 5.5pc from the previous year.

There were 46,800 middle schools in 2017-18, with 438,600 teachers and enrolment of 7.3m, an increase of 4.3pc from the enrolment level in 2016-17. Enrolment is estimated to increase by another 3.7pc to 7.6m in 2018-19.

There were a total of 30,900 high schools with 556,600 teachers functioning in the country in 2017-18. High school enrolment, at 3.9m, represents an increase of 7.4pc from the enrolment level of 3.6m in 2016-17.

High school enrolment is estimated to increase by another 6.6pc to 4.1m in 2018-19.

They survey said there were a total of 5,200 higher secondary schools and intermediate colleges with a teacher population of 121,900 in 2017-18.

It said the overall enrolment of 1.75m in these schools was a healthy increase of 9.8pc from the enrolment level in 2016-17. Enrolment is expected to rise to 1.84m, by another 5pc, in 2018-19.

A total of 3,700 technical and vocational institutes with 18,200 teachers were functional in 2017-18. The enrolment of 433,200 represents an increase of 25.6pc from the previous year. Enrolment is projected to increase by 8.7pc during 2018-19.

There were 1,657 degree colleges in the country with 42,000 teachers in 2017-18. That year, a significant decline of 47.3pc in enrolment to 503,800 was observed at the enrolment level, which is projected to decrease further by 4.3pc in 2018-19.

There were 186 universities in 2017-18, the survey said, with 56,900 teachers and a total enrolment of 1.6 million. Enrolment was 7.7pc higher than in previous years, but the survey said: “The growth in enrolment however is projected to decline by 0.2pc in 2018-19.”

https://www.dawn.com/news/1487420
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan launches national socioeconomic registry

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2337707/Pakistan-launches-national-socioeconomic-registry

The World Bank (WB) also congratulated Ehsaas for completing South Asia’s first digital National Socio-Economic Registry survey.

WB Country Director Najy Benhassine, while speaking at the ceremony, said, “I congratulate the Government of Pakistan and Ehsaas on achieving this historical milestone.” He said that the bank feels proud to be the technical partner in this “game-changer survey”.

“This is not just Pakistan’s but also South Asia’s first digitally-enabled socioeconomic census. It will be really transformative that the registry will now facilitate data sharing for social protection programmes of the federal government, provinces, government departments and development agencies,” he added.

Director-General Naveed Akbar outlined the design, end-to-end digital methodology, approaches and rigorous transparency measures embedded in the execution of the survey.

UNRC Resident Coordinator Julien Harneis, Secretary Ismat Tahira, and senior representatives of government departments, Asian Development Bank (ADB), development partners and media professionals also attended the event.

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Ehsaas, the flagship welfare programme of the government, successfully accomplished a countrywide National Socioeconomic Registry Survey which includes households’ information in terms of geographic data, demographics, socioeconomic status, education, health, disability, employment, energy consumption, assets, communications, agri-landholdings, WASH, livestock, etc.

Ehsaas conducted a door-to-door computer-aided survey all across the country to gather data about the socioeconomic status of households. In conclusion, this will be the most reliable dataset for the use of public sector institutions, think tanks and development agencies for designing social protection and poverty alleviation programmes.

The data sharing will be steered through the Cognitive API Architecture approach. There will be two-way data sharing; agencies with whom data will be shared will also be required to update the registry with their own information.

Addressing the launch ceremony, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Senator Dr Sania Nishtar said, “Part of Ehsaas strategy, we have just concluded a new National Socioeconomic Registry of 34.41 million households. We did various validations of the data to precisely identify the real poor.”

“With the readiness of survey, we are now transiting from static to dynamic registry to make it more targeting efficient and to avoid possible inclusion and exclusion errors occurred due to continuous change in socioeconomic status of the households especially due to demographic change,” the SAPM said. “Tehsil-level Ehsaas Registration Desks have also been opened all over the country to keep the national socioeconomic registry dynamic.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s generational shift
By Dr Ayesha RazzaqueMay 22, 2022

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/959718-pakistan-s-generational-shift

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.


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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’.



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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.
Riaz Haq said…
So, in 2020-21 for every hundred rupees that employed men earn, women earn around eighty-one rupees. This is up from women earning seventy rupees for every hundred rupees that men earned in 2018-19. (Labor Force Survey 2020-21)


https://nation.com.pk/2022/04/29/pakistans-labour-force/

Using ILO’s framework, the gender pay gap in agriculture in Pakistan is still very high—36.24 percent. The good news is that this is lower than 2018, when the gender pay gap was 40.69 percent. To put another way, in 2020-21, for every hundred rupees that men employed in the agriculture sector earn, women earn around sixty-three rupees only. This is up from women earning fifty-nine rupees for every hundred rupees that men in the agriculture sector earned in 2018-19. Again, while the gender pay gap is atrociously high, over the period of analysis it has declined and that is an absolutely positive achievement. The overall gender wage gap has almost halved over the period of analysis. So, in 2020-21 for every hundred rupees that employed men earn, women earn around eighty-one rupees. This is up from women earning seventy rupees for every hundred rupees that men earned in 2018-19.
This report paints a rosy picture of the labour force in Pakistan. But some macroeconomic issues continue to manifest. Low LFPR among the youth, urban unemployment which exerts additional pressure on the cities, gender pay gaps and disproportionate size of the informal economy. Moving forward, serious attention has to be paid on generating meaningful employment across the country, specifically in KP which has the highest rate of unemployment.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Labor Force Survey (LFS) 2020-21


https://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files/labour_force/publications/lfs2020_21/LFS_2020-21_Report.pdf

Literacy rate goes up (62.4%, 62.8%) more in case of males (73.0%, 73.4%) than females
(51.5%, 51.9%). Area-wise rates suggest increase in rural (53.7%, 54.0%) and in urban
(76.1%, 77.3%). Male-female disparity seems to be narrowing down with the time span.
Literacy rate goes up in all provinces: KP (52.4%, 55.1%), Sindh (61.6%, 61.8%), Balochistan
(53.9%, 54.5%) and in Punjab (66.1%, 66.3%) during the comparative periods

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an average monthly wages of overall paid employees is of Rs.24028
per month while the median monthly wages is Rs. 18000 per month. . However, gender
disparities were obvious in the mean monthly wages gap between males and females of Rs.
4526 in favour of males. Based on median monthly wages, the gap, still in favour of males, is
Rs. 6,900. The above table also shows that irrespective of occupation both mean and median
monthly wages of males are higher than those of females

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4.20 Major Industry Divisions: Occupational Safety and Health
Mainly, the sufferers belong to agriculture (29.3%), construction (19.7%), manufacturing
(19.1%), wholesale & retail trade (13.7%) and transport/storage & communication (10.2%).
Female injuries in agriculture sectors are more than twice (61.7%) than that of male injuries
(26.3%). In manufacturing, female injuries (24.7%) and Community, social and personal services
(8.9%) are more than male injuries (18.6%) and (6.5%) respectively. Contrarily, males are
more vulnerable in the remaining groups. Comparative risk profiles run down for major
industries grouping while gain stream for manufacturing, transport, storage & communication
and community, social & personnel services.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Labor Force Survey 2020-21



Refined Activity (Participation) Rate (%)

Pakistan Total 44.9 Male 67.9 Female 21.4

Rural 48.6 Male 69.1 Female 28.0

Urban  Male 65.9 Female 10.0



https://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files/labour_force/publications/lfs2020_21/LFS_2020-21_Report.pdf

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Labor Force Survey 2020-21



It (unemployment) goes down from (6.9%) in 2018-19 to (6.3%) in the LFS 2020-21. Decrease is observed both in case of males (5.9%, 5.5%) and females (10.0%, 8.9%). Generally the unemployment rate in females is more pronounced as compared to males during the comparative period. Area- wise disaggregated figures indicate that unemployment rate goes down both in urban (7.9%, 7.3%) and in rural areas (6.4%, 5.8%) Comparative figures suggest significant decrease in rural males (5.5%, 5.1%) and females (8.5%, 7.4%) and in urban male (6.5%, 6.0%) and urban females (17.1%, 16.4%). 



https://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files/labour_force/publications/lfs2020_21/LFS_2020-21_Report.pdf

Comparative surveys estimates indicate changes in the employment shares. Decrease is observed in agriculture/forestry/hunting & fishing (39.2%, 37.4%), wholesale & retail trade (14.5%, 14.4%) and other category (2.2%, 1.5%) while increase is noted in construction (8.0%, 9.5%) and Community/social & personal services (14.9%, 16.0%). Manufacturing (15.0%, 14.9%) and transport storage & communication (6.2%, 6.2%) remain steady during the comparative periods.

Riaz Haq said…
The average expected years of schooling in Pakistan is 8.5 years. In comparison it is 11.2 years in Bangladesh and 12.3 years in India. Pakistan has performed poorly even on inequality adjusted human development, as well as gender development and equality compared with the regional countries.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1522407#:~:text=The%20average%20expected%20years%20of,compared%20with%20the%20regional%20countries.
Riaz Haq said…
Indian media on World Bank Report Reshaping Norms: A New Way Forward 2022

https://theprint.in/economy/does-development-mean-more-women-in-work-yes-in-pakistan-but-not-india-says-world-bank-study/1027868/

Does development mean more women in work? Yes in Pakistan but not India, says World Bank study
In India, women's participation in workforce fell after per capita income passed $3,500, says study published in World Bank's South Asia Economic Focus. Experts cite 'patrilineal trap'.

New Delhi: It’s generally assumed that economic development and women’s participation in the labour force go hand in hand. However, a World Bank study has found that the relationship is more complex in South Asia — particularly in India — than previously thought.

Published in April this year in the World Bank’s South Asia Economic Focus, Spring 2022, the study, titled ‘Reshaping Norms: a New Way Forward’, found that economic development corresponded with a rise in women’s participation in the workforce in some South Asian countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, but only up to a point in India.

The study took into consideration Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity (PPP) from 1985 to 2019. PPP is the rate at which one country’s currency would have to be converted into another’s to buy the same amount of goods and services.

It found that female labour force participation (FLFP) — the percentage of women currently employed or unemployed actively looking for work — varies from country to country in South Asia. The study also found that in India, FLFP fell after per capita income surpassed $3,500.

The South Asian countries included in this particular analysis of the study were India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Maldives.

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/37121/9781464818578.pdf


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The study claims that when a country is largely agrarian, women’s participation in agriculture and allied activities is higher. However, as a country industrialises and as the need to have more working hands go down, this participation declines, largely due to societal biases against women working in manufacturing units.

The curve rises again at higher-income levels as a result of growth in the service sector coupled with higher education levels among women and a lower fertility rate (that is, the number of children born alive to women of that age during the year as a proportion of the average annual population of women of the same age).

The study, however, shows that the growth trajectory isn’t uniform across South Asian countries. For instance, in Sri Lanka and Nepal, the FLFP has barely changed despite economic development. In Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, and the Maldives, a rise in per capita income corresponds with a rise in FLFP. India, too, saw a similar corresponding rise but only until it reached a per capita income of $3,500, the study shows.

According to the World Bank’s estimates, Bangladesh had an FLFP of 35 per cent, Pakistan 21 per cent and India 19 per cent in 2021.


Evans told ThePrint that although both Bangladesh and Pakistan have low female employment, “an additional constraint in India may be labour regulation, which suppresses job-creation in the formal economy”.

“It traps families in precarity, reinforces reliance on kinship, and encourages jati-endogamy (the custom of marrying within one’s caste),” she told ThePrint via email. “Moreover, employers frequently subcontract to home-based workers in order to artificially reduce the size of their firm and circumvent labour regulations. This kind of informal ‘gig’ work keeps many women trapped by family surveillance and control.”

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