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Housemaids Essays

Women’s Contribution to the Family Budget: Informal Labor Market in Pakistan (A Case Study of Bahawalpur District) Thesis submitted by Tasnim Kausar Department of Economics The Islamia University of Bahawalpur. Supervisor Prof. Dr. Shahnawaz Malik Department of Economics Bahauddin Zakarya University Multan. Dedicated to Sakina* *Who was spreading stones on the road for the smooth through for development of Bahawalpur. Her infant was sleeping on roadside under the shadow of basket of stones. Sakina was day dreaming of pacca (cemented) house for her family.
Acknowledgement I am grateful to Allah Subhana Hu Wa Tala who gave me the courage to see and study the daughters of Hawa who are struggling for survival of their families that is ultimately connected with the economic support at the national level. I would like to acknowledge the supervision provided by Prof. Dr. Shahnawaz Malik. I would specially like to thank the co-operation received from my colleagues in Department of Economics, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur. I also acknowledge the help and co-operation of my children to complete this thesis.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the women interviewed for their time and patience with the study’s numerous questions. Their co-operation is gratefully acknowledged, without their help this study would not have been possible. Tasnim Kausar Declaration I hereby declare that the work described in my thesis “Contribution of Women in Family Budget: Informal Labor Market” has been carried out by me under the supervision of Professor Dr. Shahnawaz Malik. I also hereby declare that this thesis has been submitted for any degree elsewhere. Five copies of this thesis are submitted for further processing.
Tasnim Kauser Statement It is certified that the work contained in this thesis entitled “Contribution of Women in Family Budget: Informal Labor Market” has been carried out under my supervision by Tasnim Khan and is approved for submission in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Ph. D. in Economics. Prof. Dr. Shahnawaz Malik Supervisor Contents Page List of Tables Acronyms Abstract iv v vi Chapter
International Conference of Labor Statisticians International Food Program Research Institute International Labor Organization Mehboob ul Haq Development Center Non-Governmental Organizations National Sample Survey Organization Ordinary Least Square Pakistan Integrated Household Survey Rural Labor Enquire Social Accounting Matrix Socio-Economic Survey Social Policy Development Center Semi Parametric Full Information Maximum Likelihood United Nations Development Program United Nations Fund for Population Activities United Nations Development Fund for Women vi
Abstract The contribution of women working in informal sector has been on the agenda of national and international organizations for over two decades, but progress in measuring it has been slow. Collection of data, on the informal sector is an arduous task (in the past the sector has been considered immeasurable) especially for women. The definition of informal sector and its implication of data collection are also relevant. In this study we are concerned with women contribution in family budget. We have calculated the contribution of women in household budget.
The typology of work in informal sector varies form region to region. We concluded that women involved in ladies dressmaking are comparatively in higher ratio and contributing more. The ladies dressmaking is a traditional profession of informally employed women of Bahawalpur. Applying OLS model on primary data from urban and rural areas of Bahawalpur, we have analyzed the determinants of contribution of women in household budget. It is found that married women, women as head of household, having assets, good health status and belonging to nuclear families are contributing more to their household budget.
There exists also a positive relationship between the contribution of women and unemployed husbands, presence of infants in the household, the utilization of loan by household, and urban locality. The presence of school-age children, presence of adults (male and female), and husband’s educational status negatively affects the contribution. The determinants of contribution are different for urban and rural areas. It is proposed to intervene by government for education of informal sector women, provision of assets and loan, health facilities by public sector and implementation of minimum wage legislation in informal sector. ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The introduction of the issue of the research is discussed in the first and foremost chapter of the study. The significance of female labor force participation for an economy and advantages of it to the household are discussed in this chapter. The concept of informal labor market and female activity in this sector is described. The state of the women labor force participation in informal sector of Pakistan has also been explained in the same chapter. In the last plan of the study is chalked out.
The issue of women recognition as productive members of the household economy is issue of the recent times in developing countries. The importance of women participation in economic activities is evident from the fact that, there is a positive relationship between women productive work and the level of development achieved. Women are nearby half of the total population and their participation has critical importance in determining the rates of savings, investment and production. The women labor force participation is regarded as a family decision, in which entry to and exit from the labor force is not related directly to the herself.
The cultural values and social roles assigned to individuals are involved in the decision of families to send their daughters and wives to work (Fafchamps 2003; Alderman and Chishti 1991; Sultana, et. al. 1994; Khandker 1998). The idea of women’s “Proper Place” 1 with its connotation of complete dependency and idealized femininity exist. Empirical evidences from a number of countries have established the fact that women are the most disadvantaged creature in society. The female deprivation is attributed to social and cultural norms (Filmer et. al. 1998; Dreze and Sen 1995).
It is further evidenced (see for instance, Kabeer 1991; Mason 1985; Jaffery 1992) that if sufficient opportunities are provided to women to improve their productivity, the following positive results can be gained: • • The more they earn, the more they seem to be valued within the family The more they earn and control income, the better their children seem to enjoy in terms of higher educational standards, low mortality rates and better health. • The process of economic development can be enhanced, if the productivity of women is increased, through better access to inputs and services. Almost fifty percent of man power potential can be fully utilized in building up of nation. The emancipation of women is an issue of concern to government international agencies and women themselves. The strategies to enhance the women’s position should be based on the reality of women’s lives, not simply assumptions. Consequently it is important to analyze all available data and research findings on the situation of women workers. It also needs accurate data collection, which will provide information about women workers.
Actually gender based hierarchies limit women’s access to productive resources, income, employment, knowledge and opportunities. The poor women are allocated the most tedious, labor intensive and poorly rewarded work inside and outside the home. The situation demands that 2 policies and plan should be developed, which enable women to participate fully in social and economic activities. Their labor work and potential must be positively recognized, and utilized for economic development, and this manpower potential should be taken as an asset for the nation, rather than liability as women are considered since ages.
This study would be helpful to reveal certain factors responsible for enhancing women contribution in household budget. 1. 1 Informal Labor Market In developing countries a sizeable chunk of labor force is employed in informal labor market, which has increased largely in relative and absolute terms. It covers a vast unregulated sector of the economy (see, Amin 2002). The growth of informal labor market in developing countries is linked with the flow of labour from rural to urban areas. This urban rural migration is influenced by the need to provide low cost goods and services for those employed in the formal sector.
In early studies the informal sector was discussed in the context of its role in the development process. The optimistic view was based on its role in the generation of employment, providing income opportunities to the urban poor, expansion of non-agricultural employment, satisfying the survival needs of the poorest section of the society. In the current debates, studies have much emphasized upon informal sector’s role in stimulating the growth of the market economy and dynamism. In Pakistan, 73 per cent of all economically active females and 61 per cent of all working women, in urban areas are involved in the informal sector (Khan, et. l. 2001). It consists of unregistered homebased small establishments that yield only subsistence level output. However, in this sector wage employment as well as self-employment is found, characterized by low 3 level of education and skill. The informal sector definitions can be classified into three categories. • The enterprise approach, defines informal sector according to the size of the enterprise, which includes enterprises below a certain size of employment (most often 10 persons). It’s a definition of informal sector from operational point of view. According to the employment status approach, the informal sector labour force is comprised of self-employed, own-account workers, wage-workers, unpaid family-workers and piece-rate workers. The units comprising of one person units (own account workers) two to four persons units (micro enterprises), and five to nine persons units (small scale enterprises) (see, Amin 2002). • Labor status approach is based on the assumption that labor protection laws do not cover some categories of labour which include piece-rate workers, ownaccount workers, unpaid family members and self-employed.
Definitions of the informal sector can vary across countries depending upon the political, economic, cultural and social differences. These differences seem to be strongest between developed and under-developed countries. That is why, studies of the informal sector in developed and developing countries of the same phenomenon have shown contradictions and inconsistency. The term informal sector labor and self-employment are sometimes used synonymously, although they are not necessarily the same thing. For many informal sector workers (perhaps the majority) working conditions and the terms of labor are exploitative.
The majority of informal sector labor survives at subsistence level 4 (Swaminathan 1991). There is a little legislation concerning working conditions, work place, safety or minimum wage rates, and little or no enforcement of existing legislation (ILO 1972). Hart (1973) was the first to introduce the terminology of informal sector in the academic literature by distinguishing informal from a formal sector and defined informal workers as the sum of the self-employed, unremunerated family workers and domestic servants.
He has emphasized that informal sector activities are basically labor intensive. International Labor Office adopted hart’s terminology and emphasized the crucial importance of informal sector in providing a wide range of low cost, labor intensive, competitive goods and services. The pioneer research on the informal sector is considered to be the Report of The International Labour Office on employment in Kenya (ILO 1992). It has defined the informal sector as the sum of all income-earning activities with he exclusion of those that involve contractual and legally regulated employment. The introduction of the concept helped to recognize the importance of incorporating informal sector activities that were ignored in models of development and in national income accounts, though the extent of the significance of the informal sector and its relation to the formal economy has remained the issue in economic literature. The informal sector is defined as the set of economic units that do not comply with government imposed taxes and regulations.
The central feature is that it is unregulated by the institutions of society in a legal and social environment in which similar activities are regulated (De-Soto1989; Swaminathan 1991; Feigi 1981). 5 Sathuraman (1976) has taken the size of activity in terms of the number of people employed as a base to define the informal sector. He claims that employment of less than ten persons should be considered a part of the informal sector. The main feature of the informal sector activities is the small scale of operation. But this criterion has not been used in researches of the informal sector in developed countries.
Breman (1980) emphasized upon “ease of entry” as a basic characteristics of the informal sector. It has been taken as a main advantage of the informal sector. It leads to autonomy and flexibility and the participants have the freedom of operating their own business and flexibility regarding hours or days of work. The definition of small scale of operation has not been used mostly in research studies of developed countries. This is most likely a consequence of the fact that small-scale activities dominate in the informal sector of less developed countries.
The informal sector in less developed countries generates low income and it is mainly a survival sector. Feige (1989) used the term underground economy for informal sector. Informal economy includes all economic activities which because of non-reporting or under reporting remain out of social measurement apparatus most notably the GNP accounts (Tanzi 1989). These researchers have taken the tax evasion criteria to define the informal sector in which it is the sum of all unreported taxable income with the intention to avoid payment of taxes (Singh 1973).
Here the legal status of economic activities is the main factor to differentiate formal sector with informal sector. 6 Harding and Jenkins (1989) has defined the informal sector activities which maintains competitiveness and flexibility, having low cost of labor, putting downward pressure on wages in the formal sector, but the productivity of capital is very high and substantial personal income is generated. He concluded that the rapid growth rate of output can be obtained if informal sector activities are encouraged.
Swaminathan (1991) has defined the informal sector enterprises as establishments which are unregistered and unlicensed. He concluded that the primary reason to start the researches in developing countries on informal sector is related to the problems of mass poverty and unemployment because the occurrence of the informal sector is caused by survival. Kaufmann and Kaliberda (1996) have concluded that the informal sector is mostly a survival sector where the short turn-over dominates and the long term, large-scale vital investments do not take place. It generates low income, characterized by marginality and poverty.
That is why it is considered to be a source of unproductive labor having residual character, although it has a potential for development Renooy (1990) defined the informal sector in which subject undertakes activities, which may or may not lead to transactions, from which payments may or may not result, but produce income, that may be used in various ways. He claimed that there are two factors which are responsible to determine the decision of a person to be active in informal sector. The structural factors consist of financial and social pressure and institutional constraints. The opportunity factors entail free choices, individual background, skills, education, cultural traditions, values, social roles and geographical factors. Ranis and Stewart (1999) has divided the economy into two parts, a modernized dynamic component and a traditional stagnant sector. He has taken the informal sector as a disadvantaged segment of a dualistic labor market Dualism appears when large firms pay wages above market clearing levels. The Federal Bureau of Statistics, FBS (1998) has defined the informal sector, as a sector consisted upon units which are engaged in the production of goods and services, with the primary objective of generating income and employment.
Further more the units operate at small scale, having no intention of evading payment of taxes. It has defined the informal sector employment as persons working in unincorporated enterprises, owned by own account workers irrespective of the size of the enterprise or by employers with less than 10 persons engaged. So informal sector includes all household enterprises operated by own account workers and employers with less than 10 persons engaged in production activities, excluding agricultural or non-market production.
The International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) has adopted a definition in which the informal sector was restricted to non-agricultural activities (Charmes 1996). It may be summarized as: • Informal self-owned enterprises that may employ family workers, and employees on occasional basis, for operational purposes and, or only those that are not registered under specific forms of national legislation (factories or 8 commercial acts, tax or social security laws, regulatory acts, and laws or regulations established by national legislative bodies). Enterprises of informal employers which may employ one or more employees on continuous basis and which comply with one or both of the following criteria: size of the establishment below specified level of employment (defined on the basis of minimum size requirement embodied in relevant national legislation and other empirical or statistical practices); the choices of upper size of limit taking account of the coverage of statistical enquiries in order to avoid an over lap, and/ or non-registration of the enterprises or its employees.
Malik and Nazli (1999) have defined the informal sector by the structure of the organization and the size of the establishment. This includes family enterprise, industrial establishment with less than ten workers and non-industrial establishments with not more than twenty workers. Ahmed (1993), Shaheed and Mumtaz (1981) have included piece rate women workers into the domain of the informal sector. The definition of informal sector adopted by Kemal and Mehmood (1993) is enterprise or unit oriented.
Their emphasis is that the working conditions in the informal sector are not regulated by any contract and workers do not have access to the benefits of formal employment such as fixed wages and security of employment. The level of earning is low as compared with the formal sector. Different studies have defined the informal sector in distinct ways. Statistics, macroeconomics, sociology, criminology and finance give it a different meaning. So a single definition is not sufficient. That is why the informal sector is defined in 9 ccordance with the problem at hand, which includes all activities that take place outside the formal sector (marginal or residual activities). 1. 2 Women in Informal Labor Market in Pakistan The intensive absorption of women and children in informal labor market is one of the major characteristics of informal sector. According to Labor Force Survey by FBS (2003) only 3. 26 percent of female labor force participates in informal sector in Pakistan. It is extremely difficult to isolate the contribution of women to the informal sector and to the household income as a whole.
Efforts need to be pursued in this respect. Women remain the main source of underestimation of the informal sector contribution for at least three reasons. 1. They are engaged in those informal activities, which are most difficult, to capture and measure, that may be home-based work and street vending (an extension of a non-measured or non-registered manufacturing activity). 2. They are engaged, more than men, in second or multiple jobs, especially in rural areas, and the non-measurement of this phenomenon is a source of underestimation.
In the presence of their main activities (as family workers notably), their contribution to the production is also very much underestimated. Their production activities are not only hidden behind their status of so-called inactive housewives, but also behind the less valuable status of family worker in agriculture. In these types of work, their contribution to the commercial margin is limited, and their value added in the production process is overlooked. 3. Women prefer such type of work which has flexible hours, greater compatibility with family responsibilities, and relative ease of entry mainly confined within four 0 walls of home. Although it is involuntary in respect of, essential for family survival, but remains invisible from official statistics. The informal female labor market in Pakistan has been organized along different lines, because women’s choice of activity is determined by the norms of female seclusion. Work in which there is contact with males is associated with loss of respect and diminishes marriage prospects for girls. Pakistan’s urban informal labour market is highly segregated. The workers, market sellers, street vendors, carpenters, mechanics’ and barbers are all exclusively male.
Women are confined to being domestic servants (who work in a home when the master of the house is away at work and have dealing only with the mistress) or home-based workers (who stitched cloths, make clays, weave baskets, embroiders, make food products and ‘bidis’ for sale by family members or middle men (see also, World Bank 1989). Table-1. 1 Formal and Informal Sector’ Non-Agricultural Workers in Pakistan (Percentage) TOTAL Sector Formal Informal Total Both 35. 4 64. 6 100 Male 35. 3 64. 7 100 Female 37. 0 63. 0 100 Both 31. 7 68. 100 RURAL Male 31. 5 68. 5 100 Female 34. 3 65. 7 100 Both 38. 9 61. 1 100 URBAN Male 38. 9 61. 1 100 Female 39. 3 60. 7 100 Source: FBS (2003) Labour Force Survey 2001- 2002: Table-17 The table-1. 1 shows that informal sector activities account for significant proportion of total employment. FBS has defined informal sector activities in respect of the nonagriculture sector. 63% working females of nonagricultural sector are engaged in informal sector, it accounts for about two thirds of the employment outside agriculture 11 sector.
The percentage of female employed involved in informal sector is higher in rural areas (65. 7) as compared to urban area (60. 7) Table-1. 2 Employment Status of Informal Sector Workers in Pakistan (percentage) EMPLOYMENT STATUS BOTH SEXES Employer Self- employed Unpaid family helpers Employees Total 1. 0 43. 6 10. 9 44. 5 100 1. 1 44. 8 10. 1 44. 0 100 0. 2 31. 0 19. 1 49. 7 100 MALE FEMALE Source: FBS (2003) Labour Force Survey 2001- 2002: Table-21 The employment status structure of the informal sector female worker shows that majority of them are in the employees category (49. ) followed by self employed (31. 0) and about one fifth of female workers are unpaid family helpers. The employer’s category of female workers is negligible (0. 2). Table-1. 3 Major Occupational Groups of Informal Sector Workers in Pakistan (Percentage) MAJOR OCCUPATION GROUP BOTH SEXES Legislators, Senior Official and Managers Professionals Technicians and associate professionals Clerk Service workers shop and market sale workers Skilled agricultural and fishery workers Craft and related trade workers 24. 6 1. 8 2. 8 0. 2 9. 5 0. 32. 3 26. 3 1. 7 2. 3 0. 2 9. 9 0. 1 29. 6 6. 8 2. 5 8. 5 5. 2 _ 59. 9 MALE FEMALE 12 Plant and machine operators and assemblers Elementary unskilled occupations Total Source: FBS (2003) Labour force survey 2001- 2002: Table-20 6. 4 22. 4 100 7. 0 22. 9 100 0. 6 16. 5 100 The occupational distribution of informal sector female workers shows that three fifth (59. 9) of them has been reported as craft and related trade workers, and this ratio is double as compared to the corresponding male workers engaged in these activities (29. ). Moreover, 16. 5 percent female workers are engaged in unskilled and elementary occupation. Table-1. 4 Major Industry Divisions of Informal Sectors Workers in Pakistan (Percentage) MAJOR INDUSTRY DIVISIONS Manufacturing Construction Whole sale and retail trade Transport, storage and communication Community, social and personal services Others include mining &quarrying, electricity, gas, water &finance, insurance, real estate and business services Total 100 100 100 BOTH SEXES 20. 9 13. 9 34. 0 11. 7 18. 0 0. MALE 17. 3 15. 1 36. 5 12. 7 17. 6 0. 8 FEMALE 57. 5 1. 3 7. 6 1. 0 32. 4 0. 2 Source: FBS (2003) Labour Force Survey 2001- 2002: Table-15 The table-1. 4 shows that the majority of female workers in informal sector are engaged in manufacturing sector and about one third are working in community, social and personal services. 13 Table-1. 5 Crude Activity (Participation) Rates in Pakistan (percentage) BOTH Pakistan Rural Urban 29. 6 29. 9 29. 1 MALE 48. 0 47. 6 48. 9 FEMALE 9. 9 11. 1 7. 3 FEMALE* 25. 8 32. 3 12. 0
Source: FBS (2003) Labor Force Survey 2001- 2002 The table shows that the crude activity participation rate of females has increased from 9. 3 in 19992002 to 9. 9. The crude female participation rate calculated with the help of improved methodology shows that female participation in economic activities is largely higher in rural areas (32. 3) as compared with urban areas (12. 0). Female*: Shows improved female participation rate. According to old methodology adopted by FBS was that that person 10 years of age and above reporting house keeping and other related activities were considered out of labour force.
The improved female participation rate has been obtained with the help of improved methodology in which all persons who have spent time on the specified agricultural and non agricultural activities have been identified as employed. *Crude activity (participation) rate is the percent age of the persons in labour force to the total population. *Refined activity participation rate is the percentage age of persons in labour force to the population 10 years of age and above. Table-1. 6 Refined Activity (Participation) Rates in Pakistan (percentage) AREA Pakistan Rural Urban BOTH 43. 3 45. 2 39. 9 MALE 70. 3 72. 2 66. 9 FEMALE 14. 16. 8 10. 0 FEMALE* 37. 7 48. 7 16. 4 Source: FBS (2003) Labor Force Survey 2001- 2002 The female participation rates calculated in terms of refined activities is substantially higher in Punjab (14. 0) as compared with the over all figure for Pakistan (9. 9). The improved female participation rate is nearly three times higher in rural areas (32. 3) as compared with (12. 0) urban areas, same are the results in Punjab. 14 Table-1. 7 Women Labor Force Participation in Informal Sector in Pakistan and Provinces ALL AREAS Pakistan Balochistan NWFP Punjab Sindh 3. 26 1. 16 1. 39 4. 49 1. 16 RURAL 1. 54 0. 87 0. 97 2. 19 0. 17 URBAN 1. 2 0. 29 0. 42 2. 30 0. 99 Source: FBS (2003) Labor force survey 2001- 2002: Table-17 The table-1. 7 depicts that females in the informal sector form a negligible proportion of the work force of Pakistan. The province of Punjab has highest ratio of informally employed women for overall areas as well as urban and rural areas. 1. 3 Rural Women in Informal Sector About 70 percent of the female labor force in Pakistan is engaged in agriculture sector and their contribution is undocumented. For rural women, many farm activities are extension to their domestic responsibilities, including fetching of water, fuel, and fodder collection.
Rural agricultural life is much closed to nature, and people are accustomed to nature’s mood of kindness and furry. Nature is their last resort because it provides their basic needs such as firewood for fuel, forest fruits for food and clay to make pots. But the rising pressure of population has changed the scenario. Widespread scarcity and abuse of natural resources has occurred. Declining income generating opportunities and unemployment rampant in rural areas has forced the men to leave their homes and 15 migrate to cities in search for work.
Some times the adverse forces are so strong that in a very traumatic situation the whole family migrates. The first thing they need in cities is a place to live. These rural migrants stay in the far out skirts of the cities, along railway tracks, under bridges, or in large round cement pipes left by some construction company. Under such uncertain living conditions other basic amenities are beyond approach, young girls and women have no privacy and becomes subject to vulnerability. Sometimes they succeed in building a shanty on public or unattended private land, but remaining under constant threat of eviction and encroachment.
Under such circumstances it is necessary for each family member to be earning hand. Women start working at their homes, using skill that can be picked up quickly, some prepare food stuff for vendors, some sort garbage for waste dealers. They must want to have some work, which will bring daily cash, no matter what work they engage in. Without cash in hand survival in a city is impossible. Some times the temptation to have quicker ways of earning a life turns the work into prostitution, begging and other illegal activities. Their children take a new role can be seen working in streets, in homes and in the markets as well.
Their settlements are developed into slums, situated in low-laying areas of the city, usually filled with sewage water. Public garbage floating ahead of these settlements can be seen frequently. These slums are comprised of mix of different race, origin, occupation, language, caste and religion. The most significant change in women’s lives is the need and possibility for women to enter the urban informal economy and be self-employed. They are engaged in hundreds of occupations. They perform manual labor as agricultural workers, construction workers, domestic workers, home-based workers, vendors, rag pickers.
These selfemployed women rarely own any capital or have tools of production or trade. They 16 have no access to credit. Their bargaining power is low and consequently exploited by middle men. They are scattered, isolated and unacknowledged part of the economy. 1. 4 Plan of the Study The plan of the study is as follows: it has been divided into ten chapters. Chapter 1 was about the introduction of the research issue. The forthcoming chapter 2 is related with the situation of women in Pakistan, i. e. their health and education, their empowerment and employment situation, their reproductive behavior, etc.
All these aspects are related to labor force participation of women and their contribution in household budget. In chapter 3 review of the related literature will be presented. The theoretical background has been discussed in chapter 4. It will be comprised of economics of working women, their decision-making and contribution in household income. Chapter 5 will be comprised of methodology of the research which consists of different concepts used in the study, sample design and data collection, and model construction and selection of variables.
The quantitative estimates of the working women in informal sector will be presented in chapter 6. Next two chapters, i. e. chapter 7 and 8 will be the core of the study, which will reveal how the individual and household characteristics affect the contribution of working women in informal labor market. We will compare the rural urban differences of contribution of women in chapter 9. The last but not the least will be the chapter 10, which will produce the summary of the results and policy recommendations. 1. 5 Objectives of the Study
The study will examine the economic contribution of women in the household budget within the perspective of their traditional role as subordinate and marginalized 17 members of the society in Pakistan. The main thesis being pursued is that women’s marginalisation, within societal structure and their exploitation confers them to contribute in family income though their net economic benefits are not recognized within the communities which increase their vulnerability. The study will be an attempt to look into various economic activities of informal sector, in which women are involved and they are contributing in household income.
The precise objectives of the study are as: • To find out various economic activities of women workers involved in informal sector and the types of paid work they are engaged, and their contribution to family budget. • To envisage the typology of women working in informal sector and the types of assorted work they are engaged. • To examine the factors which affect their contribution in household budget. • To suggest suitable measures and a plan of action for the betterment of women’s contribution in the household income. 18 CHAPTER 2 SITUATION OF WOMEN IN PAKISTAN
The socio-economic status of women and their role in cultural paradigms is associated with their working decision which is ultimately connected with their contribution in household budget. In this chapter we are going to discuss the situation of women in Pakistan, i. e. their health condition, educational status, bonded labor, empowerment, aspirations for work, violence against them, and their reproductive behavior. The role and the situation for women in a traditional, patriarchal society of Pakistan encompass a great bearing. Society has already defined their roles.
Discrimination against female child starts from her conception, and continues through out her life. What happens to her, when she becomes an adult, is subjected to all sorts of exploitation ranging from mental and physical torture to sexual abuse. In patriarchal society as in Pakistan, family is the basic unit which sets the norms for males and females. Within this system, fathers and husbands are recognized as the guardian of women and the decision making power are vested in male hands. The right of inheriting property is passed in the hands of husbands and sons.
The kinship system leads to strong preference for son and discrimination against daughters. Male members are the central in lineage. As an adult she becomes extraneous to her family of birth. She lives in her father’s home only until it is time for her to marry. It is highly unusual for an adult woman to live with her parental family. When she got 19 married, her productivity and services are shifted to the husband’s family what ever her parents need may be (Gupta and Shuzhuo 1999). Parents of young daughters are reminded of their obligation to marry of their daughters.
Their appropriate place is in their husband’s home as a wife in another family, and after marriage when she joins her husband’s family, she has to face difficult circumstances, especially if the husband is residing with his parents. The expenses of a daughter’s marriage are much higher than a son’s marriage because large dowries are paid to the groom’s family and it is viewed as a loss to the family. So the birth of a daughter is considered less desirable phenomena. The fundamental rights of women are violated in homes and within communities; even the right to take decisions concerning their own lives is not given.
Marriage against choice is a deep rooted social problem which is the violation of an individual’s basic right. The norms work in a manner that divorce makes the woman a social out cast, by lowering her self esteem. In economically disadvantaged families, the situation of women is worse. Society has imposed the stereo types of gender roles and expectations with the result that it has become unfeasible for women to break out of the vicious circle, in which she has been confined by norms (Ibraz 1993). In some communities restriction on women are much more stringent which allows greater exploitation and discrimination (Mohanti 1997).
The bottom line of the problem is that she is caught in a situation which she can not change, that is predetermined and predestined. Research has proved that education is a sufficient factor to enable women to challenge gender relations, but much is required to change the norms and the critical attitude of society (Jeffery and Basu 1996; Mason 1993). Literacy rate has improved in Pakistan 20 in terms of enrollment rate, but there are many structural constraints on women’s education and their work choices in terms of occupational rigidities and women’s own perceptions and aspirations for adult life.
There are clear indications that education and employment decisions of women taken by their parents channel them towards marriageablity. The organization of marriage has gotten much importance due to the lack of women’s control over income and property. The emphasis on marriage is due to its value for women in the context of norms of feminity (Eapen 2002). Another disadvantage of being a woman in Pakistan is the reluctance of society to accept the credibility of a woman, and their crucial role, required to uplift the socioeconomic status of household and society. However the bias against females does not confine to males only.
Interesting finding is that females themselves are not ready to accept their own sex. On the basis of social beliefs they have the view that males are more credible and reliable than females (Raees and Kandawala 1994-1995). Table-2. 1 Indicators of Status of Women in Pakistan KEY INDICATORS Female Life expectancy at birth (years) Female Adult literacy rate (percentage) Gender related development index Estimated earned income (PPP) US $ Combined gross enrollment ratio, primary, secondary, tertiary level school (percentage) Gender empowerment measure (1997) VALUE 60. 7 29. 5 0. 471 915 31. 0 0. 176
Source: MHDC (2004) Human Development in South Asia, The Health Challenge; World Bank (2003) World Development Indicators 2003. 21 The table-2. 1 indicates that life expectancy at birth for women is 60. 7 years in Pakistan, which is lower than men in Pakistan. The women tend to live longer than men. Globally, the women live approximately four years more than their male counterpart (MHDC 2004), but in Pakistan, this biological superiority has been reduced due to malnutrition and serious health hazards which women have to face in their social and physical environment. Gender related development index for Pakistan is 0. 71 and Pakistan is ranked 107 in the gender related development index. The gender empowerment index ranks Pakistan 71 (out of 80), but in female economic activity index ranking Pakistan comes at 29th. The estimated earned income of women is only 915 $ which is one third of earned income of men. Their role at high level decision making is only 7 percent. Women’s representation at higher level is important, because the suggestions to alter the situation faced by women have to come from the women themselves. Table 2. 2 Socio-Economic Profile of Women in South Asia KEY INDICATORS PAKISTAN INDIA SRI-LANKA BANGLA DESH
Maternal mortality rate (2002) Gender development index (2002) Life expectancy at birth (years) (2002) Adult literacy rate (Percentage) (2002) Births attended by skilled staff (Percentage) (2002) Average years of schooling (2000) Fertility rate, Births per women (2001) Labor force ( female percentage of labor force 2001) 500 0. 471 60. 7 31. 0 20. 0 540 0. 572 64. 4 48. 0 43. 0 92 0. 738 75. 8 66. 0 97. 0 380 0. 499 61. 5 54. 0 12. 0 2. 5 4. 3 29. 0 3. 7 3. 0 32. 4 6. 6 2. 1 36. 8 1. 8 3. 0 42. 2 Source: MHDC (2004) Human Development in South Asia, The Health Challenge; World Bank (2003) World Development Indicators 2003. 2 Gender related development index (calculated by UNDP) shows that except for Sri Lanka all other countries have very low Gender Development Index (GDI) values. Srilanka is a leading country in all socio economic indicators related with women, where 97 percent births are attended by skilled staff, while in Pakistan only 20 percent are attended by skilled staff. The maternal mortality rate in Sri Lanka is as lowest as 92. At the same time, as in Pakistan it is the highest, as the probability of dying of mothers is 500 per 100,000 live births.
In 2001 Pakistan accounts for just 29 percent of women’s participation which is lowest in the region, while Bangladesh has the highest female participation rate. Low female participation rate in economic activities in Pakistan depicts the lack of employment opportunities available for women. Participation depends on efforts of the government with regard to employment opportunities, awareness and the provision of facilities for the working mothers. Pakistan’s female educational level is not sound, which is a clear indication of very few women available for work. In the case of fertility rate in the year 2001 Pakistan has 4. births for women, which is the highest among four countries. The average years of schooling of females in Pakistan is only 2. 5 years while in Sri Lanka it is 6. 5 years. 2. 1 Health Conditions of Women Women in Pakistan suffer greatly from a lack of access to health-care, because of not only an absolute lack of health facilities but also due to relative inaccessibility of such facilities. Women have to face traditional taboos against consulting doctor which are based on false traditions and religious beliefs (Mahmood 2000; Sathar and Kazi 1997; Mehmood and Renigham 1996).
Problems in access to health facilities and delayed decision making at the family level in case of emergency are the key factors for high 23 maternal mortality (Fikree 2000). In developed countries maternal mortality is rare (MHDC 2005) but in developing countries, million s of women face this risk every year. The incidence of early marriages in Pakistan continue to dominate and women are under societal pressure to produce an offspring in teenage (Mehmood 2000), the use of contraceptive is low and very low antenatal care facilities are available.
Majority of women suffer chronic energy deficiency and malnutrition. Many preventable and cure-able diseases become life threatening for women due to lack of adequate diet and heavy domestic work. Women’s health problems are generally related with their reproductive health. According to UNFPA (2003) about 60 women die of pregnancy related complaints in Pakistan every day. Health hazards faced by women and girls working in informal sector have not been generally highlighted. These women perform their work under humiliating conditions, with out any freedom to express their sufferings.
They are exposed to unhealthy working conditions and paid low-wages for their long hectic work, exploited by devious middle man. Remunerative work becomes oppressive because it is merged with household chores, so that there is no end to work (Khan et. al. 2005). The burden of women’s domestic work combined with reproductive duty cause not only physical health problems, but also acute mental health problems (MHDC 2004). Table-2. 3 Health Status of Women in Pakistan KEY INDICATOR Sex ratio (Male to Female) Maternal mortality ratio (Per thousand live births) Healthy life expectancy (Years) Fertility rate (Births per Women) VALUE 108 500 52. 4. 3 24 Body Mass Index less than 18. 5 (percentage of women ages 15-49) Birth attended by skilled personals (Percentage) Anemic pregnant women (Percentage) Currently using contraception (Percentage) 13. 3 20 37 39. 7 Source: SPDC (2003) Social Development in Pakistan, Annual Review 2002-03; MHDC (2004) Human Development in South Asia. Gender discrimination, poverty, kinship pattern, family structure, the position of women in society, the number of pregnancies per women and inadequate gap between births are the factors responsible for low health status of women in Pakistan (SPDC 2004).
Pakistan has the lowest sex ratio in the world. In 1998 there were 108 males for every 100 woman. In 2001 and 2002 this ratio decline to 107 men for 100 women. Health problems of women increase during the reproductive age due to nutritional deficiency and the existence of successive pregnancies, which increase the risk of maternal mortality. Although the population growth rate has declined from 3 to 2 percent and total fertility rate to 4. 3 births per women, but in 2000 maternal mortality rate was 500 per 100,000 live births.
An unskilled birth attendant is the main factor responsible for such high maternal mortality rates. Only 20 percent of the deliveries are attended by skilled health personals. Mostly births takes place at homes, 86. 5 percent of all births in rural areas takes place at home compared to 51. 3 percent in urban areas. 13. 3 percent women has body mass index less than 18. 5, which means that they are underweight. Births per woman give a clear indication of the fact that the contraceptive prevalence rate is low. National Nutritional Survey 2001-02 reported that 12. 5 percent of non-pregnant women and 16. percent of lactating mothers were malnourished and 37 percent of the pregnant women were anemic (MHDC 2004). 25 2. 2 Situation of Female Education in Pakistan There is a plethora of empirical evidence which has proved that, in developing countries improvement in women’s education, health, employment opportunities and participation in economic activities can generate significant returns. Investment in women not only benefits women themselves but also has great social returns, which are depicted in an improvement in their children’s welfare and a reduction of fertility, poverty and gender bias (Quibria 1993; Summer 1992).
That is why recent development theories have stressed the notion of social capital. It is formed through individual participation in social life and is productive in income generating activities as physical and human capital (Putnam (1993). If the formation of social capital is through women’s participation in society, in the context of access to resources such as education, the evidence suggests that significant economic and social benefits can be generated. There are higher survival rates amongst the children of educated women, and these children are better-nourished and better-educated.
The supply and demand forces both have determined low education level in Pakistan. The prevailing culture in which early marriages, segregation between the sexes, lack of employment opportunities for women, emphasis upon women’s reproductive capacity and long distances to schools have caused low education level of women. Furthermore there are many other factors such as, assistance rendered by girls to their mothers, reluctance of parents to send their girls to co-educational institutions, preference given to boys over girls, and illiteracy of mother are also responsible for low level of education. 6 The importance of education in the determination of women’s participation in economic activities can not be ignored. Education is a crucial factor for social progress and to reduce the gap between socio-economic groups of society. Low educational level of women affect returns to female labor force participation adversely i. e. the returns to very hard manual work is very low, and vulnerable to exploitation. Parents have higher aspirations for the male child than for the female child. Family preferences tend to favor boys over girls.
Decisions regarding the distribution of food, labour, health-care and education benefit boys more than girls. Gender disparity is rooted in cultural perceptions. Parents expectations, that female will and must marry some how reduces her value. She is deprived of opportunity to broaden her personal, social and intellectual horizon. Gender discrimination continues through out her life. Table-2. 4 Female Educational Status of Women in Pakistan YEAR LITERACY RATE MEAN YEARS OF SCHOOLING COHORT REACHING CLASS FIVE (PERCENTAGE) (PRIMARY) Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female ENROLMENT RATE 975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2001 31. 4 34. 0 37. 9 43. 2 50. 5 63. 0 12. 6 15. 1 18. 3 22. 4 27. 9 38. 0 2. 2 2. 7 3. 2 3. 4 3. 9 8. 2 0. 5 0. 6 0. 9 1. 0 1. 4 3. 4 45. 2 41. 3 36. 1 36. 5 37. 3 49. 4 33. 7 32. 2 29. 5 27. 9 30. 4 40. 0 56. 6 56. 2 63. 7 73. 7 82. 9 83. 9 27. 8 28. 5 32. 9 40. 0 55. 6 63. 5 Source: SPDC (2003) Social development in Pakistan, Annual Review 2002-03. 27 The table-2. 4 indicates that the female enrollment rate at primary and secondary level has shown a substantial increase starting from 1975 with 27. 8 to 63. 5 percent in 2001and at secondary level from 9. 7 to 23. in the same period. Although it is a positive sign but at the secondary stage the percentage of cohort reaching class 10 revolve around 40 percent from 1975 to 2001 because these students who entered the secondary stage are unable to complete their matriculation. It is a clear indication of high drop out rate at secondary level. Adult literacy rate for female was 71 percent in the year 2001 and youth literacy rate for females was 57 percent for the same period, the average year of schooling was 2. 5 in 2000, which shows a little tendency towards investment in education to females.
The modernization process has made some changes in the value system. Parents are sending their girls to school and gross enrolment rate has increased, however modernity has not replaced traditions. In spite of urbanization and the expansion of education opportunities, die-hard traditional values are still deeply entered in the society. Women take their job as temporary because of retirement at marriage and argued their income supplementary to family income. This perception creates dependency of women on men and reinforced the persistence of a male oriented patriarchal culture.
Women are perceived as good mothers, respectful daughter and sacrificing sisters having no access to property and position in society. There are not only the cultural factors but also the institutional factors which are responsible for women backwardness. Conflicting modern and traditional values coexist, making women role complicated and precarious. 28 2. 3 Women’s Empowerment The process of empowerment of women is a method of changing perceptions, in order to allow the individual to change the environment, in other words to change the situation faced by women.
The empowerment process gives strength to the individuals and provides the opportunities to develop skills, abilities and independence. The empowerment of women require strategic endeavor. It can be achieved changing the social institutions that do not benefit women, policies that guarantee equal rights and by abolishing discrimination against women. It is a long term structural transformation which will increase the involvement of women in protective activities of the economy and then will improve the over all well-being of society.
There are three indicators of women’s empowerment, women’s say in household decision-making, freedom of movement, access and control over resources (Khan, et. al. 2005). Besides it, women’s empowerment is directly connected to perceptions which are based upon norms prevailing in the society and the roles given to women by society. Men are considered as the bread winners and women as house-wives without productive work. Generally it is assumed, that women achieve some degree of empowerment when they enter paid work. They can enjoy autonomy in the context of their domestic and social life.
Some studies have proved that paid-work particularly, in low income strata, doesn’t mean women’s control over earning or ability to take self-interested decisions (Khan 2005; Eapen and Kodoth 2002). The all monetary transactions are conducted by men and commonly the payments are made to the male heads of the household even for work done by women (Shaheed 1992). Shah (1986) also concluded that in Pakistan, 29 women’s wage work participation is a status reducing rather than a status enhancing activity, as female work has never been considered as a valued activity.
In a patriarchal society like Pakistan, there are social constraints on activity and mobility of women (Foster 2005; Rehman 1992). They are expected to conform to certain codes. The need of restricting women’s mobility arises because women are considered subject to more physically vulnerable and their activities are related to the “honor and shame” of the family (Ahmed 1986). The immobility of women creates lack of control over economic resources by women and economic subjugation of women by men.
Despite of providing earnings essential for survival of the family, the poor and illiterate women do not have the due status and say in important family decisions. In Pakistani society, family is the basic unit which sets the norms for male and female decision-making. Within this system, fathers and husbands are recognized as the guardian of women and the decision-making power is vested in male hands. The right of inheriting property is passed to the hands of husbands and sons. A newly married girl has to face difficult circumstances when she joins her husband’s household, if the husband remains co-resident with his parents or their siblings. . 4 Aspirations of Women It is important to know the aspirations of working women, in the context to understand, what has motivated them to enter the labour market. Aspirations are determined by socio-economic conditions including education and norms adopted by the society. The perception and attitude of women towards job reflect their aspirations. The decision of women to enter the labour market is motivated by the 30 desire to be independent financially because when they work and earn, they become less reliant on their parents and husbands.
Paid-work outside the home makes its possible for women to have aspirations for selfimprovement. In developing countries the aspiration of women are simply to work and get economic compensation (in low income strata), without further aspiration of getting a better position by realizing their full potential, because women perceive barriers in the way of their advancement in terms of their limited education and minimal opportunities to work (Pangestu and Hendytio 1997). 2. 5 Employment Situation of Women According to labour force survey only five to ten percent women reported them as working labour force.
It does not give us a complete sampling frame of all working women. Usually the nature of women’s work is such that it is likely to go unrecorded, because of the informal nature of most of the jobs that women’s take up, e. g. stitching at home, embroidery, beauty parlor etc. Secondly the perception is that what ever work goes on within the household is a part of household chores, whether it is an income generating activity or not (Khan 2005). Male members of family are usually reluctant to admit that female members do any work for remuneration.
Their economic participation goes unnoticed because they are employed as family labourer or domestic workers without any remuneration. 31 Table-2. 5 Labor Force Participation Rates of Women in Pakistan URBAN Years 1975 1979 1985 1991 1995 2000 2002 Male 69. 6 70. 3 71. 1 66. 6 64. 3 65. 0 66. 9 Female 3. 5 5. 3 4. 1 8. 6 7. 0 8. 8 10. 0 RURAL Male 79. 8 80. 1 79. 8 73. 6 71. 3 73. 1 72. 2 Female 7. 6 14. 3 10. 7 14. 8 13. 3 16. 1 16. 8 TOTAL Male 76. 7 77. 3 77. 1 71. 3 69. 1 70. 4 70. 3 Female 6. 4 11. 8 8. 7 12. 8 11. 4 13. 7 14. 4 Source: SPDC (2003) Social development in Pakistan, Annual Review 2002-03
The table-2. 5 indicates that the labor force participation rate for males has reduced from 76. 7 percent in 1975 to 70. 3 percent in 2002 but in the case of females it has increased from 6. 4 percent in 1975 to 14. 4 percent in 2002. It is due to the overall performance of Pakistan’s economy and lack of employment opportunities in the country not only for men but also for women. The female labour force participation has increased in rural areas from 7. 6 percent in 1975 to 16. 8 percent in 2002 2. 6 Violence against Women The violence against women has become one of the most visible issues in Pakistan.
The cultural norms, traditional practices, religious beliefs and social values of a patriarchal society and laws in Pakistan place the women in a sub-ordinate role and create gender-based violence and oppression. In Pakistan today if a woman claims to be a victim of rape but is unable to prove, it can be charged with adultery and prisoned while the rapist can be free for lack of evidence. As a divorced mother, 32 women are often deprived of their children by law (Siddiqui et al 2000). Domestic violence is well thought-out a private matter and marital rape is ot considered violence (Weiss 2001). Domestic violence can take the form of physical abuse, mental abuse, psychological abuse and economic abuse. Physical abuse including wife-beating, burning, rape, murder, honor killing, forced prostitution is common in rural Pakistan (Siddiqui, et. al. 2000). Sathar and Kazi (1997) indicated that 82 percent of the wives in rural Punjab reported that they are afraid of to disagree with husbands, 35 percent of the women reported that they have been beaten by their husbands and 8 percent said that they were regularly beaten.
Working women have to face sexual harassment at their work place for example nurses are targeted at hospitals, domestic workers at homes and women working as bonded labour at their work place (Siddiqui, et. al. 2000). After marriage, in husband’s family women are abused for the purpose to extract more dowries from their parents. Dowry related violence is widely reported and in extreme cases women are killed. If one wife does not seem desirable, she can be abused or cast off.
It is reported that during the period of 2002 to 2004, 14000 cases including murder, honor-killing, kidnapping, rape and gang rape were reported. Various news papers reported 3098 cases of violence during 2001 and the figure doubled to 6875 in 2002, though the figure declined to 4723 in 2003. During 2001-2003, 530 women were burnt to death, 4478 were kidnapped, 2866 were murdered and karo-kari took the lives of 1511 women, 973 women were raped and 1065 were gang raped (SPDC 2004). According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report for 2005 women are facing high rate of violence.
The HRCP recorded at least 1242 cases of violent 33 crime against women in the first 8 months of 2005, 279 women were murdered due to various motives during the year, HRCP recorded 96 cases of burning, 311 cases of suicide, 299 cases of attempted suicide by women, 538 cases of kidnapping of women, 190 cases of gang rape and 176 cases of rape in the period of first 8 months. HRCP report released by the Multan task force showed high crime rate in Southern Punjab as compared the figures of all over Pakistan. 115 women lost their lives due to honor killing and 167 were illed due to incidents of domestic violence in Southern Punjab during 2004 (SPDC 2005). The HRCP report further identified that at least there were 6000 women in jail in June 2005, and 80 percent of these women were arrested under the charges of Hudood ordinance. It has been proved that the eradication of violence against women requires the enhancement of status of women. Panda (2003) has strongly highlighted the criticality of women’s access to and control over economic resources, particularly immovable assets, in prevention of domestic violence.
The phenomenon of trafficking of women is increasing all over the world, especially in South Asian countries. Women are trafficked for variety of reasons, for example, for sex slaves, prostitutes, domestic slaves, begging, slaves and some times as trade brides. These are usually exploited by their own husbands. Poverty, war, need to survive, rising unemployment in developing countries, increased demand for services in developed countries and the exposure to internet are the factors responsible for trafficking (Shamim 2005).
Although it is much difficult to obtain the accurate data because of illegal nature of trafficking. Poverty is the main cause of trafficking, survival needs force the young girls and women to leave their homes and even their countries to obtain material gains. Some times the poor parents themselves send their 34 daughters to urban centers without considering the severe consequences. Trafficking is common in areas, which are prone to natural disasters and people live below the poverty line (Mukherjee 1997).
Globalization has reduced the economic opportunities available to women in south Asian countries. The traditional family system has been broken down. Family is a social unit which provides shelter but divorced, widowed and parentless girls find themselves outside the social support system. The trafficking of women both internal, from rural areas to big cities and as well as cross border takes place (SPDC 20052006). Traffickers give incentive to provide well-paid jobs or marriages, but results in forced labour or orced marriages even deprived off from their liberty and their own earnings. When a young woman is trafficked once, she is kept confined and controlled through blackmailing and threats of violence, which causes depression. Most of them are at the risk of suicide. The Human Rights Commission Report 2005 for Pakistan stated that the incidence of suicide, particularly by young women, age less than 40 has continued to rise in Pakistan (SPDC 2005-2006). Victims never explain their experiences of abuse to others who might be vulnerable.
Pakistan is a country of origin, transit and destination for women trafficked at international level (Shamim 2005). Women from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are trafficked in Pakistan. It has been reported that through well beaten paths (Nepal to India and Bangladesh to Pakistan) 9000 girls and women are trafficked in a year (Giri 1999). 2. 7 Bonded Labor and Women Unfree labor is another phenomenon which is experienced in developing countries. It has many dimensions of exploitation. The circumstances of the weak group force it to 35 be bonded with the powerful.
Unfree labour practice is common in rural and sometimes in urban areas. The whole family including women and children is bound to provide services to the land lords in rural areas only in return for meals and rent of housing. The need for survival forces the all family to work for meager wages. Here women are more vulnerable to exploitation because sometimes the manager and employer demand sexual services from women as reward for avoiding labour services or as their personal privileges (Ercelan 2005). Debt bondage is another kind of forced labour.
Women and children are part of this debt bondage. It is reported that the debt of around 10,000 per adult worker exist in brick kiln industry in central and southern Punjab (Ercelan 2005). When a new kiln starts up this debt bonded families negotiate for more advances to move to the new kiln, to meet their extra ordinary increase in expenditure, such as marriages of their daughter or illness. In this way the amount of debt continue to increase which can never be repaid because of low piece rates. The debt pressure forces the labour to accept low wages.
It has been reported that some times the bonded laborers sell their human organs such as kidney to pay off their debt (Ereclan 2005). 2. 8 Reproductive Behavior of Women According to Pakistan Population Assessment Report 2003 prepared by the United Nations Fund for Population, the population growth rate has declined in Pakistan to 2 percent and total fertility rate to 4. 5 births per women. High population growth rate is absorbing every additional expenditure made in the sectors like health, education, water, housing, sanitation and infrastructure.
The number of employed people has doubled and the number of unemployed increased eight fold between 1970 to 2002. The report has stressed that population issue should be given due importance in 36 development strategies (SPDC 2004). Policy makers in Pakistan has recognized the importance of family planning in reducing the population growth rate, which is required to increase the living standard of the people (Hashmi 1991) Pakistan is passing through a fertility transition phase. Fertility transition is conditioned by a series of intermediate variables which ultimately are determined by economic, social and cultural factors (Bongaarts 1978).
In Pakistan reproductive behavior of women is shaped by the values, norms and beliefs about child bearing prevailing in the society. The status of Pakistani women is determined by fertility and child bearing. She has a low bargaining power, the all important decisions like as marriage, securing gainful employment, receiving proper health-care, migration and reproductive behavior are made for her by male members of the family. The importance of husband and wife relationship related to fertility behavior and contraceptive views has much importance.
The role of husband in our society is that all decision-making powers and authority is vested in his hands, and it is considered his legitimate right to exercise his authority. The social power of the husband is inherited in the existing social system, while the role of women is to behave under the law of obedience. The all decision regarding child birth contraception and pregnancy are taken by him (Shah 1986). Having a sub-ordinate status, she is not allowed to interfere in familial and nonfamilial decisions.
Low education status and less access to economic resources make her more traditions bound, related to the subject of unquestionable loyalty to husband. Research has proved that the enhancement of female status through education is an important factor to reduce fertility rates. Female literacy and employment are considered the important factors responsible to reduce the fertility rate (Chamratrithirong, et. al. 1992). The net impact of female 37 education on fertility are negative because of late marriages and due to increase in the opportunity cost of rearing children, which results in a trade off between the quality and quantity of children.
The impact of female employment on fertility has two dimensions. The employment influences fertility negatively in the case of women in higher status, and positively in the case of lower status occupations (Sathar 1989). 2. 9 Micro-Credit and Women The traditional banking system requires that a borrower have collateral to receive a loan. The world’s poorest people specifically women have no such collateral. Further, traditional banks are not generally interested in issuing small loans, as the interest benefits do not exceed the transaction cost.
Microfinance institutions exist in many forms, credit unions, commercial banks and most often, non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Many microfinance institutions (MFIs) use social collateral in the form of peer groups to ensure loan repayment. Borrowers take out loans in groups of five to eight individuals. If a borrower defaults on her loan, the entire group typically is penalized and sometimes barred altogether form taking loans. This peer pressure encourages borrower to be very selective about their peer group members and to repay loans in full and on time, resulting in the igher repayment rates. United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) recognized the need to provide credit to women as a way of strengthening women’s institutions at the grossroot level. There may be many reasons why women should become the primary target of micro-finance services. At the macro-level it is because 70 percent of the world’s 38 poor are women. Women have a higher unemployment rate than men not even in Pakistan but in virtually every developing economy. They make up the majority of the informal sector. They constitute the bulk of those who need micro-finance services.
Targeting women has also proved to be a successful, efficient economic development tool. Research performed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank, among others, indicated that gender inequalities inhibit overall economic growth and development. A recent World Bank (2003) report confessed that societies that discriminate on the basis of gender pay the cost of greater poverty, slower economic growth, weaker governance, and lower living standard for all people. Women are usually the primary or sole family care-takers in many developing countries.
Helping them gain additional daily income improves the condition of their entire household. Putting extra income in women’s hands is often the most official way to affect an entire family, as women typically put their children’s needs before their own. Children are more likely to complete their education and escape the poverty trap than their parents are. Giving women access to micro-credit loans therefore generates a multiple effect that increases the impact of a micro-finance institution’s activities, benefiting multiple generations.
Grameen Bank in Bangladesh is a success story of MFIs. It has distinguished features of credit: • It promotes credit as a human right. 39 • Its mission is to help the poor families to help themselves to overcome poverty. It is targeted to the poor, particularly poor women. • Most distinctive feature of Grameen-credit is that it is not based on any collateral, or legally enforceable contracts. It is based on trust, not on legal procedures and system. • It is offered for creating self-employment for income-generating activities and housing for the poor, as opposed to consumption. It was initiated as a challenge to the conventional banking which rejected the poor by classifying them to be not credit-worthy. As a result it rejected the basic methodology of the conventional banking and created its own methodology. • It provides services at the door-step of the poor based on the principle that people should not go to the bank, bank should go to the people. • • In order to obtain loans a borrower must join a group of borrowers. Loans can be received in a continuous sequence. New loans become available to a orrower if her previous loan is repaid. • • • All loans are to be paid back in installments—weekly or bi-weekly. Simultaneously more than one loan can be received by a borrower. Generally these loans are given through non-profit organizations or through institutions owned primarily by the borrowers. If it is done through for-profit institutions not owned by borrowers, efforts are made to keep the interest rate at a level which is close to a level commensurate with sustainability of the program rather than brining attractive return for the investors.
Grameencredit’s thumb-rule is to keep the interest rate a close to the market rate, prevailing in commercial banking sector, as possible, without sacrificing 40 sustainability. In fixing the interest rate market interest rate is taken as the reference rate, rather than the money lenders’ rate. Reaching the poor is its non-negotiable mission. Reaching sustainability is a directional goal. It must reach sustainability as soon as possible, so that it can expand its outreach without fund constraints. • Gremeen-credit gives high priority on building social capital.
It is promoted through formation of groups and centers, developing leadership quality through annual election of group and center leaders, electing board members when institution is owned by the borrower. In Pakistan there exist the institutions providing micro-finance to poor but these institutions have negligible part of micro-finance to women. All the commercial banks along with Khushhali Bank, Small and Medium Enterprise Bank, Zarai Tarakiati Bank Limited, and Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan are providing microcredit loans.
A number of other programs, the prominent among them are Agha Khan Rural Support Program, Punjab Rural Support Program, National Rural Support Program and Malakand Rural Support Program. In the reference of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur Rural Development Program is working. 2. 10 Pakistan Labor Policies and Working Women Since independence five labor policies have been announced by the Government of Pakistan in the year 1955, 1959, 1969, 1972 and 2006, which laid down the parameters for the growth of unionism, the protection of workers rights, the settlements of industrial disputes, and redress of workers grievances.
These policies also provide for compliance with international labor standards ratified by Pakistan. 41 Labor Protection Policy 2006 is more comprehensive as it is not an instrument of social policy alone but, rather, an instrument of both social and economic policy. The effective labor protection policy bestows economic benefits on workers through increase in labor productivity. It covers five main areas: • Basic right such as the right to join a trade union and bargain collectively, equal treatment and non-discrimination, the absence of forced labor, and the absence of child labor. Working conditions including minimum wages and above minimum wages issues, allowances and benefits, hours of work, overtime work, rest breaks and leave arrangements, including annual leave, sick leave and special leave issues, and job security provisions. These are the items that typically form the basis of the employment contract that creates both rights and obligations for workers, as well as for employees. • Working environment including protection against the effect of hazards in the work place involving issues of work safety as well as protection from work related diseases and illness. Social security including protection against the effects of economic and social hardship resulting from a reduction in earning due to work accidents, work illness, unemployment, or retirement. • The living environment including improved housing, protection against adverse living conditions with regard to health and hygiene, diet, sanitation, water supplies and other matters affecting workers in their non-working life, but which clearly impact on their capacity and productivity at work (MLMOP 2006:14). 2 The whole policy is concerned with the working women in informal sector as they are laborers but here we will discuss some more relevant sections of the labor protection policy. The government reaffirmed the need to eliminate gender discrimination. It is committed to improving the role of women in the labor force, providing women with equal opportunities for employment, and making workplaces more conducive for women workers.
The government is also aware of the need to develop a conducive environment to support greater participation of women in the work force, and will pursue this in consultation with Ministry of Women Development. Traditionally, labor policy has focused on protection for workers engaged under formal contracts of employment in both public and private sectors. Government is committed to extending labor protection to workers employed under non-traditional arrangements including self-employed persons, workers engaged in informal economy, homeworkers, contract-workers, seasonal workers, and workers in the agricultural and fishery sectors.
Workers in the informal economy experience various difficulties and deficits including: • • Unproductive and poor quality of jobs, with low productivity, and low pay; Limited or no protection in relation to working conditions (hours of work, leave), and the working environment (including lack of safety, exposure to hazards, and unhealthy workplaces); 43 • No social protection including old-age pensions, health insurance, unemployment benefits, work injuries and illness; and • No representative organization and no voice on work-related matters
Government is committed to address these problems and aims to ensure that all employees, in all sectors, and all persons engaged in self-employment and informal economy activities, enjoy all aspects of labor protection. Labor protection for persons working in informal economy will be assisted through the introduction of labor extension services, particularly concerning improved safety and health at work, and for some aspects of social protection. Such intervention will concentrate on education, information and advice, as compared with the application and enforcement of law typically found under traditional approach to labor inspection.
Minimum wages, however, is one area where assistance to informal economy workers will be supported by legislation. The minimum wages, whether at hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rates apply progressively to all sectors and situations in which paid-work is done under employer-employee arrangement. Workers and entrepreneurs in micro and family enterprises 1 operating in the informal economy will benefits from increased knowledge of safety and health issues, and increased access to social security on a voluntary basis.
Similarly, self-employed nonagricultural workers in both urban and rural areas will benefit from improved work safety and health and by gaining access on a voluntary basis to social security schemes. 1 Majority of the women in informal sector economy are working in such type of enterprises. 44 Extending labor protection to the country’s large and diverse informal economy is a major challenge. The informal economy support millions of people across a large geographic area, undertaking a wide variety of low-pay, low-productivity jobs, under working conditions that are frequently harsh, unhealthy, and hazardous.
Informal economy workers are not covered by labor laws but it is necessary for the labor administration to take the initiatives to see how it can best reach out to such workers and provide them with basic protection through the provision of advisory services, based on a labor extension approach. Workers in the informal economy, including home-workers and domestic workers, will benefit from improved safety and health arrangements, access to some social security arrangements, and the payment of minimum wages where an employer-employee relation is evident.
According to Labor Protection Policy 2006, women workers will benefit from the application of ILO Convention or Equal Remuneration, 1951 (No. 100), ratified by Pakistan in 2001. Minimum and above-minimum wages will be paid on the basis of equal pay for equal work, and equal pay for work of equal value, as between men and women, in accordance with Pakistan’s obligations under ILO Convention 100 and 111 concerned with equality and non-discrimination, respectively.
Women will also benefit from better information concerning their working conditions and arrangements in the informal economy, form improved maternity arrangements, code of conduct relating to sexual harassment and, where possible, day-care arrangements for their children. Government is committed to provide women with equal opportunities for employment and will re-examine existing legislation to ensure that women are not 45 denied access to suitable jobs that are arising due to Pakistan’s changing labor markets.
Insufficient is known about the nature and scope of sexual harassment in Pakistan’s workplace but, it is assumed that various forms of unwanted and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature are likely to exist in some enterprises. In the first instance, the government proposes to access the nature and extent of sexual harassment in the workplace, examine existing codes, and prepare a consolidated and undated code of conduct to guide the actions of enterprises. Violence in the workplace, whether sexually oriented or not, is another issues that deserves appropriate legal intervention.
An additional component of labor protection relates to the advancement of the production efforts of workers through improved living conditions including improved housing, better sanitation, domestic hygiene, nutrition, and disease prevention. Such issues have a significant bearing on the overall health and well-being of workers, and thus influence their productivity. Accordingly, the government is of the view that the linkage between living conditions and the world of work is an important element of a labor protection policy. 6 CHAPTER 3 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Reviewing relevant literature is to relate the research with the existing knowledge available on the problem under study. No such study, according to our knowledge, exists about the contribution of women in the household budget, for any country or region including Pakistan. However a number of studies are present about the time allocation and labor force participation decision of women for different areas, age groups and sectors. It makes us prefer to review these studies.
This chapter presents the chronological review of literature. In the earlier studies Shah (1975) analyzed the work participation decision of married women in Pakistan. she observed that availability of a responsible male member and availability of time by the woman after doing domestic chores tended to affect female labor force participation. She further observed that there was higher participation rate of divorced and widowed women as compared to married and single women.
Abbasi (1980) analyzed the socio-economic characteristics of rural women of Sindh. The study indicated that in rural areas factors affecting women’s participation were conditions of land tenure, income of the families, availability of schools and the distance of school from the residence of women. The study segregated the factors affecting the labor force participation of women in urban and rural areas. In urban 47 areas, family background and family education were assumed to affect the female participation in paid work.
There are a number of studies which have focused on informal sector, Shaheed and Mumtaz (1981) conducted a study on informally employed women in Kot Lakhpat (Lahore). The study seemed to be the first one concerning informally employed women. It was a micro-study having qualitative analysis and comprised of a sample of 300 women workers, among them 77 percent were found engaged in sewing, knitting and embroidery. They were working at home for meager wages. Purdah, male opposition, pre-occupation in the household chores were hindering them in seeking better paid jobs outside the home 1 .
Similarly a number of studies have focused on informal sector activities like Mohiuddin (1982) has analyzed the urban poverty and female-headed households 2 . The study evidenced that female-headed households are increasing all over the world. The women are the poorest of the poor, because there is lack of access to productive resources and income, and they also face challenge of market oriented activities 1 There are number of latter studies who have focused on a specific group of informally employed women, industry or profession.
For example, Shah (1975) analyzed the labor force participation of married women; Abbasi (1980) analyzed the village-based activities of women; Shaheed and Mumtaz (1981) on piecework women workers; Mohiuddin (1982) has focused on female handicraft workers; Freedman and Wai (1988) analyzed the women workers in Barani areas; Hamid (1991) focused on poor settlements of urban and rural areas; Panda (1997) focused on female-headed households and female-heads; Camps-Cura (1998) analyzed the women work in textile industry; Khattak and Sayeed (2000) analyzed the sub-contracted working women; Azid, et. l. (2001) have focused on cottage industry; Mehrotra and Biggeri (2002) analyzed the home-based workers; Gonzalez (2004) has focused on work of single mothers; and Khan, et. al. (2005) have analyzed hazardous nature of work by women. 2 Female heads and female-headed-households are linked with informal employment of women. They have also been discussed by Panda (1997) in the perspective of their effect on well-being of children; Rosenhouse (1989) has probed the female-headship as proxy of poverty; Louant, et. l. (1993) discussed the welfare implications of female-headship of Jamaican households; Buvinic and Gupta (1993) analyzed the insecurity aspect of female-headed and female-maintained families of developing countries; Srinivasan and Dreze (1995) looked into the poverty status of widow-headed households in rural India; Varley (1996) analyzed the socio-economic status of women-headed households and Gonzalez (2004) probed the working status of single mothers. 48 ompatible with domestic responsibilities. With no-education and training at their disposal and their dual duty as mother and worker dictate the type of job available to them, that is the informal sector job. In the cultural settings of Pakistan, females are confined to job where sex seclusion can be assured. One of the options is to work as a domestic servant. In the study the sample size of hundred domestic servants of Karachi were the respondent to the survey.
The objective of the study was to identify and enumerate the female-headed households and make a composition of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics between them and non-female-headed households. The survey was conducted at the demand points for the workers. In informal sector the street vendors, carpenters, mechanics, barbers are exclusively males while females are confined to home-based production 3 . Examples are handicrafts-workers seamstresses and domestics.
The female domestics are commonly known as masees, typically work in three or four house at one or more following chores: washing dishes, washing cloths, sweeping and cooking, and they are given 60 or 100 rupees per activity per month. There has been a significant increase in the supply of masses market as a result of migration of thousands of families from Bangladesh to Karachi. It is concluded that 83 percent households which are femaleheaded fall below the poverty line. The

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