Enhancing women agency to promote social transformation and agricultural development
(Written by: Allah Dad Khan and Junaid Hafeez)
It is relevant to consider some aspects of the marginalization of the status of women in the world by having a look at the figures which are based on the documents of the United Nations. Some of the findings are:
- Unemployment Rate:
Male unemployment rate decreased by 11% from 1999 to 2010. While that of women, unemployment rate increased by 0.5% during the same period. Women in the Informal Sector: Without legal protection or security, women depend on informal trade for their survival. In Third World countries, a high percentage of food vendors were women: in Nigeria 94%, Thailand 80%, 63% in the Philippines.
- Inequality in Pay:
All over the world women earn only two-thirds of men’s pay and earn less than three-quarters of the wages of men doing similar jobs. Women form athird of the world’s official labor force, but are concentrated in the lowest-paid jobs and are more vulnerable to unemployment than men.
- Domestic Work:
Women do almost all the world’s domestic work and coupled with their additional work in the productive spheres: this means most women work a double day. Unpaid domestic work is regarded as women’s work. Though it is vitalwork, it is invisible work, unpaid, undervalued and unrecognized. Yet, the women’scontribution to society in this regard is enormous.
Women grow about half of the world’s food, but own hardly any land, have difficulty in obtaining credit and are overlooked by agricultural advisors andprojects. In Africa, three-quarters of the agricultural work is done by women. While in Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East, women comprise half of the agricultural labor force.
Women provide more health care than all health services combined and have been major beneficiaries of a new global shift in priorities towards prevention ofdisease and promotion of good health.
Women continue to outnumber men among the world’s illiterates by about3:2 ratio, but school enrollment boom is closing the education gap between boys and girls.
- Political Affairs:
Due to poorer education, lack of confidence and greater workload, women are still under-represented in the decision-making bodies of their countries.
Mr. Allah Dad Khan is former DG Extension, KPK
Mr. Junaid Hafeez is Director, Agrihunt.
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