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‘Pakistani women most politically empowered’

Pakistani women are more politically empowered than their female counterparts in the other South Asian countries as about 21 per cent parliamentarians in Pakistan are women as compared with India’s 11 percent.

These views were expressed by World Bank Gender Group Senior Director Caren Grown at a seminar organised by Karachi University’s Applied Economic Research Centre (AERC), on Thursday.

The topic was “Gender Issues both globally and regionally and their relevance in Pakistan”.

She said that the ratio of Pakistani women parliamentarians is higher than the other South Asian countries as far as women political participation is concerned.

Ignoring the recent cases of violence against women in the country particularly ‘honour’ killing, she was of the opinion that men have done enough to support their female colleagues and end the violence. She went on to say that there is no law in Pakistan that stops women from working adding that the early marriages in the developing countries is a great challenge for working women.

She emphasised that the norms and values must be changed to ensure gender equality.

She said that one-third of the women in the world have faced violence at least once in their lifetime. Violence against women is a serious issue having economic consequences as well causing the loss of 2-3 percent of the GDP to the national economy.

She was of the view that only two percent of women in Pakistan have access to private bank accounts. Women in Pakistan are predominant in university level education but they are not transformed to the labour market, she added.

Women’s participation in the labour market boosts the economies of the country.

She said that in 18 countries, husbands are legally empowered to stop their wives from jobs. Empowered women will ultimately help in boosting the nation’s economy, household income and reducing poverty.

In America, women participation in the labour market contributed to poverty reduction, she concluded.

APP. ‘Pakistani women most politically empowered’. Pakistan Today, February 10, 2017.

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