The World Bank has stated that Pakistan is still restricting a woman’s ability to register a business. Reportedly, in its latest report, the World Bank acknowledged that the country has lifted restrictions on a woman’s ability to work night shifts.
However, Pakistan has still not converted into law a decree that will equal a woman’s and a man’s ability to register a business. In August 2020, the Companies Act amendment was taken out and women of Pakistan have been restricted from registering businesses.
Moreover, Articles 31 and 37 discriminate against women as it demands that a married woman provide details about her husband when signing the company memorandum and articles of association. Moreover, the financial institution also mentioned that reforms for equal treatment for women have slumped in the last 2 decades.
As per the report, in 2022, the global average score on the World Bank’s Women, Business, and the Law index rose half a point to 77.1—indicating that on average, women get roughly 77% of the legal rights that their counterparts do.
At the current pace of reform, in many countries, a woman entering the workforce today will retire before she will be able to gain the same rights as men, the report notes.
“At a time when global economic growth is slowing, all countries need to mobilize their full productive capacity to confront the confluence of crises besetting them,” said Indermit Gill, Chief Economist of the World Bank Group and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. “Governments can’t afford to sideline as much as half of their population. Denying equal rights to women across much of the world is not just unfair to women; it is a barrier to countries’ ability to promote green, resilient, and inclusive development”.
Pakistan & The Companies Act
In Pakistan, the Companies Act has been a source of controversy for years, as it has often been interpreted to restrict women from registering businesses. This has had a significant impact on the ability of women to participate in the business world and has led to inequality in the workplace.
Under the current Companies Act in Pakistan, only a male can be appointed as a director of a company. This restriction has been a major hurdle for women entrepreneurs, who have been trying to break into the business world in the country. In addition to this, the act requires that any shareholder of a company must be male, which further limits the opportunities available to women.
This gender discrimination in the Companies Act is not only unfair, but it is also a violation of the basic human rights of women. Discrimination against women in the business world deprives them of the opportunity to contribute to the economic growth of the country and to be financially independent.
The Companies Act has been a major barrier for women entrepreneurs who have struggled to register their businesses. The act has made it difficult for women to access financing, training, and support services, which are essential for the growth of any business. The lack of these resources has hindered the development of women-owned businesses and has led to fewer job opportunities for women in the country.
The gender disparity in the business world is not just a problem for women; it is also a problem for the economy. By excluding women from the business world, Pakistan is missing out on the contributions that they could make to the economy. This not only hurts women but also the country as a whole.
To address this issue, it is important to reform the Companies Act in Pakistan. The act needs to be amended to eliminate gender-based discrimination and to create equal opportunities for women in the business world. This will require political will and support from civil society organizations and women’s groups.
In addition to legal reform, it is also important to provide women with the resources they need to start and grow their businesses. This includes access to financing, training, and support services. By investing in women entrepreneurs, Pakistan can tap into the potential of half of its population and promote economic growth and development.
Women in Workplaces
In recent years, the issue of women’s participation in the workforce has gained increasing attention in Pakistan. This is not only a matter of gender equality but also a crucial aspect of economic development. Women are essential to the growth of Pakistan’s economy, and their active participation in the workplace can help the country overcome its sinking economic challenges.
One of the most significant factors affecting Pakistan’s economy is the low labour force participation rate of women. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the female labour force participation rate in Pakistan is only 25%, which is much lower than the global average of 47%. This means that a significant portion of the country’s population is not contributing to its economic growth, which can have serious consequences in the long run.
To tackle this issue, it is important to understand the potential benefits of having more women in the workplace. First and foremost, women can bring valuable skills and talents to the table, which can help businesses and industries thrive. Women’s unique perspectives and experiences can also lead to new ideas and innovations, which can benefit the economy as a whole.
Furthermore, when women participate in the workforce, they can earn their own income, which can help reduce poverty and increase household income. This, in turn, can lead to increased consumption, which can stimulate economic growth. Additionally, women’s participation in the workforce can help reduce the gender wage gap and promote gender equality, which is essential for sustainable economic development.
In the long run, increasing women’s participation in the workforce can also help Pakistan overcome some of its demographic challenges. With a growing population and limited resources, the country needs to tap into all available human resources to sustain its economic growth. By empowering women to participate in the workforce, Pakistan can harness the potential of half of its population and create a more sustainable future for all.
To achieve these goals, there are several steps that can be taken. First, policies and laws that promote gender equality and protect women’s rights in the workplace should be implemented and enforced. This includes measures such as paid maternity leave, flexible working hours, and equal pay for equal work.
Second, initiatives that promote women’s education and training in fields that are traditionally dominated by men should be encouraged. This can help women acquire the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in the workforce and break down gender stereotypes.
Third, businesses and industries should be encouraged to adopt gender-inclusive practices that promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This can help create a more welcoming and supportive environment for women and promote their participation in the workforce.
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