IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Empowering growth in Pakistan?


  • Siegmann, K.A.
  • Majid, H.


Pakistan's Vision 2025 connects a policy commitment to greater gender equality with inclusive growth. It prioritises a "good quality of life and high living standard for all citizens across regions, gender" and to "achieve an annual average growth rate of 7 to 8 per cent that is inclusive and endogenous" as its first two objectives (GoP 2014a). These commitments respond to the multiple inequalities and the increasing polarization that characterise the South Asian country. Rather than indicating its economic strength, Pakistan's relatively high average income of current USD 1,290 is a reflection of the multiple inequalities that characterize the South Asian country. This is illustrated, for example, by the high incidence of poverty that paralleled even periods of high growth since the turn of the millennium. Despite international and national commitments, Pakistan is characterized by the most severe extent of gender inequalities in the areas of health, education and labour market participation as well as labour conditions in the South Asian region. While positive economic growth rates are often assumed to go hand in hand with rising employment levels and opportunities for income-earning, growth and indicators of gender equality in Pakistan do not seem to be systematically correlated. This article explores the connection between economic growth performance and gender inequalities in Pakistan. We ask the question how empowering macro economic growth has been and can be for women in Pakistan. The present paper addresses this question, offering a concise review of related research as well as an exploration of aggregate data on sectoral gendered employment and economic growth. Based on this it formulates tentative policy conclusions and an outlook for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Siegmann, K.A. & Majid, H., 2014. "Empowering growth in Pakistan?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 595, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:77324

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ahmed, Naeem & Hyder, Kalim, 2006. "Gender Inequality and Trade Liberalization: A Case Study of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 16252, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Oct 2006.
    2. Leah Platt Boustan & Carola Frydman & Robert A. Margo, 2014. "Human Capital in History: The American Record," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bous12-1.
    3. Francine D. Blau, 2014. "Comment on "The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective"," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 198-203 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Niimi, Yoko, 2009. "Gender Equality and Inclusive Growth in Developing Asia," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 186, Asian Development Bank.
    5. Luiz de Mello & Mark A. Dutz, 2012. "Promoting Inclusive Growth : Challenges and Policies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16948, December.
    6. Claudia Olivetti, 2014. "The Female Labor Force and Long-Run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 161-197 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. A. R. Kemal, 2006. "Key Issues in Industrial Growth in Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 11(Special E), pages 49-74, September.
    8. repec:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:11:p:1636-1656 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ayaz Ahmed & Henna Ahsan, 2011. "Contribution of Services Sector in the Economy of Pakistan," Working Papers id:4673, eSocialSciences.
    10. Stephanie Seguino & Caren Grown, 2006. "Gender equity and globalization: macroeconomic policy for developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 1081-1104.
    11. Irene Staveren, 2013. "An Exploratory Cross‐Country Analysis Of Gendered Institutions," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 108-121, January.
    12. Tam, Henry, 2011. "U-shaped female labor participation with economic development: Some panel data evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 140-142, February.
    13. Nazmul Chaudhury & Dilip Parajuli, 2010. "Conditional cash transfers and female schooling: the impact of the female school stipend programme on public school enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(28), pages 3565-3583.
    14. Stephan Klasen & Francesca Lamanna, 2009. "The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education and Employment on Economic Growth: New Evidence for a Panel of Countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 91-132.
    15. Pervaiz, Zahid & Chani, Muhammad Irfan & Jan, Sajjad Ahmad & Chaudhary, Amatul R., 2011. "Gender inequality and economic growth: a time series analysis for Pakistan," MPRA Paper 37176, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    16. Farzana Afridi, 2011. "The Impact of School Meals on School Participation: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(11), pages 1636-1656.
    17. Elson, Diane, 1999. "Labor Markets as Gendered Institutions: Equality, Efficiency and Empowerment Issues," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 611-627, March.
    18. A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, 1996. "“You are not excused from cooking”: Peasants and the gender division of labor in Pakistan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 87-105.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    economic growth; gendered employment; Pakistan; Vision 2025; women’s empowerment;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:77324. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RePub). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.