There have been important advances in gender equality in Pakistan in recent years. Pakistani women today are more likely to participate in the labour force and decision-making, and access health and education services, than their mothers and grandmothers. With about a fifth of parliamentary seats held by women, Pakistan has a strong representation in terms of women’s political representation in South Asia. But considerable progress is required for Pakistani women to fully access their rights to fulfil their life aspirations, and empower themselves to be full partners in development. Women comprise over half of Pakistan’s population, yet only 22.7 percent are part of the labour force. Even those who are part of the labour force are largely in the informal sector, receiving low pay and with few legal protections. Less than a fifth of Pakistani women have been to secondary school, compared to over half of Indian women.
UNDP supports government and civil society partners to empower women and achieve gender equality. In contributing to development for all Pakistanis, female or male, we work to guarantee that women participate in, and their voices are heard, across government institutions, civil society, the private sector and in UNDP itself. Gender equality is fundamental to a country’s development and essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Accordingly, we are guided by the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2014–2017, advancing the empowerment of women as we support countries in their efforts to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. Globally and in Pakistan, we integrate the experiences and needs of women into every aspect of our work.
Almost 50 percent of Pakistan’s population consists of women
Most women have no formal skills, making this segment of the society vulnerable to injustice and discrimination. Providing women with skills and employment opportunities will help establish prosperity and economic growth.