What is the connection between growth performance and gender inequalities in Pakistan?

Article by Karin Astrid Siegmann and Hadia Majid

Despite the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals to inclusive growth, severe gender inequalities and women’s marginalization continue to characterize Pakistan's macro-economic performance.

This is the argument put forward by Dr Karin Astrid Siegmann and Dr Hadia Majid in their article published in the Indian Journal of Labour Economics.

Their article explores the connection between growth performance and gender inequalities, noting that Pakistan's macro-economic performance has been characterized as a case of ‘growth without development’. More specifically, severe gender inequalities and women’s marginalization in international comparison have persisted even in phases of high GDP growth. This paradoxical situation offers a fertile context for the analysis of how empowering macro-economic growth has been and can be for women.

They investigate how empowering growth has been for women in Pakistan by exploring aggregate data on sectoral growth and gendered employment. Their analysis does not suggest the straightforward win–win for growth and women’s empowerment espoused in Pakistan’s national policy vision. Rather, they find that women’s employment is precarious—women are largely viewed as secondary earners engaging in distress sale of labour.

Download and read the article online - 'Empowering Growth in Pakistan?'

Assistant professor

Dr Karin Astrid Siegmann

Associate professor

Dr Hadia Majid