- Alarming data reveals that 70% of female engineers in Pakistan face unemployment or remain outside the labor force.
- Out of 28,920 female engineering graduates, only 28% are employed, while 20.9% are unemployed, and a significant 50.9% are not engaged in the labor market.
- Regional disparities show that urban areas offer more employment opportunities, with 67.2%, compared to rural areas at 32.8%, despite a higher urban unemployment rate of 63.5% versus 36.5% in rural regions.
The recently conducted Labour Force Survey 2020-21, a collaborative effort between Gallup Pakistan and PRIDE, has revealed a concerning situation for female engineering graduates in Pakistan. Shockingly the research shows that 70% of female engineers and recent engineering graduates in Pakistan either remain jobless or are not actively participating in the labour market.
Study: Only 28% of Female Engineers Employed
Out of a total of 28,920 female graduates only a mere 28% have been currently found in the workforce. This 28% comprising 8,146 individuals – have secured employment. This statistic is accompanied by the disheartening revelation that 20.9% (6,054 graduates) are faced with unemployment, while an overwhelming 50.9% (14,720 graduates) remain disengaged from the labor force.
This finding shows that half of the engineers i.e.; 50.9%, 14,720 graduates are not using the knowledge gained through education in the labour force. This paints a grim picture for Pakistan which stands as the world’s fifth most populous country in the world.
Despite substantial government investments in public sector universities, particularly in fields like medicine and engineering, the demand for skilled engineers remains high ad more than half of the nation’s bright female graduates remain at home.
The comprehensive research, based on data from the Labour Force Survey 2020-21, specifically scrutinized female engineering graduates across various educational levels, encompassing Bachelor’s, MS/MSc, MPhil, or PhD, spanning a spectrum of engineering disciplines.
Is the Engineer Bride Phenomena Becoming a Reality in Pakistan?
Just like the phenomena of doctor brides in Pakistan, it seems like the same can now be said for female engineering students who attain the degree and are then married off without having the opportunity to join the workforce.
The survey by Gallup Pakistan was also broken down based on regional disparities and marital status of the graduates. As per the findings, it has been highlighted that a whopping 64.2% of female engineer graduates who are not employed were married while 28.42% of these women have never been married.
The Urban – Rural Divide Amongst Female Engineers
The research data underscores a distinct urban-rural divide among female engineering graduates. In rural regions, 43.9% of these graduates are employed, 36.3% face unemployment, and 19.8% remain outside the labour force, notably lower than the national average of 50.9%.
On the other hand, in urban areas, around 24.0% of female engineering graduates are employed, while 16.8% encounter unemployment. Alarmingly, the majority, at 59.2%, in urban settings have opted not to participate in the labour force.
This regional discrepancy highlights the significant disparity in employment opportunities, with urban areas presenting notably more prospects at 67.2%, compared to rural regions at 32.8%.
Rural Areas Show a Lower Unemployment Rate
However, it’s worth noting that rural areas maintain a lower unemployment rate at 36.5% compared to the urban unemployment rate of 63.5%. A considerable 91.8% of the graduates are situated in urban areas, with the remaining 8.2% residing in rural regions. These statistics illuminate the complex challenges faced by female engineering graduates, both in rural and urban contexts, and the need for targeted interventions to address these issues effectively.
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