It is rightly said that it is the woman who builds the nation and lead the generations towards a prosperous future. Similarly, it is undeniable that any country’s economy can be more stabilized if the women population of that country is financially stable. In the field of entrepreneurship, women have been long stereotyped as being unable to compete with men. However, as we move out from the 2010s to the 2020s, there has been an alacritous advancement in women entrepreneurship in Pakistan due to changes in the social and economic environment.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 39% of women in Pakistan are engaged in small enterprises, whereas 9% in medium-sized enterprises. However, most women entrepreneurs tend to work in traditional sectors, such as boutiques, parlours, bakeries, apparel, handicrafts, jewelry, and other similar businesses. Now the question arises that is the government measuring up and acknowledging women’s entrepreneurship in Pakistan?
There have been several institutions and organizations that had been working under the supervision of Pakistan’s government since 1989, but their regulatory processes were so complex that they were rather discouraging for women entrepreneurs who face multiple restrictions. With time, the government is amending the regulatory processes of these institutions for women entrepreneurs to give their best.
On top of that, it is irrefutable that women can reinforce Pakistan’s fiscal backbone as women in Pakistan make up 48.76% of the population according to the 2017 census of Pakistan. Giving women better economic empowerment means aiding women to enhance their rights to economic resources and control over meaningful decisions that benefit themselves, their family circle and their communities, consequently delivering exceptional outcomes to the country’s economy. These include the right to control their own time, income, and access to existing markets equally. Greater empowerment improves their well-being and economic status, which fosters innovation and a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, women entrepreneurs play a significant role in producing jobs, wealth, poverty reduction, human development, education, health and the nation’s development, specifically in developing countries like Pakistan.
We are living in the digital era where women can expand their business ventures globally via E-commerce while staying at home and can contribute phenomenally in multiplying the country’s revenue. Least investments, ease of working from remote areas, global reach, flexible trading hours, penetration of technology and social media in our lives and the sense of freedom that comes in from financial independence are the crucial reasons for the progression of an online marketplace as the auspicious platform for women entrepreneurs. It has unlocked new horizons of women entrepreneurs’ opportunities and supports them to grow remarkably by providing access to the international business markets. Therefore, a niche business’s culture is giving serious growth to e-commerce worldwide from which the Pakistan government can reap innumerable benefits by supporting its existing women entrepreneurs and by persuading other country women towards the Ecommerce domain while addressing their concerns.
Vesting more women to work results in improved growth of third-world unstable economies. It can only be done due to women’s economic empowerment, increases economic diversification, boosts productivity and income equality, ensuing in other positive development outcomes. A study from the IMF reveals that the policies that ameliorate access to educational opportunities and finance for women can reduce inequality and pave the way for the shattered economy towards permanence for the developing country. Providing women and girls with more educational, vocational and entrepreneurial opportunities contributes to an increase in labour force participation rates, thus providing a better quality of human capital for future economies and generations.
As women are imperative contributors to the development of the global economy, especially in low income and middle-income economies, therefore, it is emphasized that they should collaborate with government and financial institutions to overcome these constraints. It has been advised that to intercept such obstacles; it is decisive for female business owners to get recognized for their identity, ultimately impacting the nation’s economy.
It’s the need of the hour now that Pakistan should support its women to enter the workforce and flourish in public and economic life by investing sagaciously in human capital, gender-sensitive policies and transforming social norms that can change the status of women’s economic participation and put the country in the direction of growth and prosperity. By lacking cumulative women’s economic development participation, Pakistan cannot accomplish its development and fiscal targets or cannot judiciously expect to become a competitive state and society in the 21st century. Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. (Hillary Clinton)