Contemporary trade policy has been driven by an apparent consensus regarding the employment-related benefits of economic openness and export-led growth that often ignores their dispersion by sector and gender. Whilst trade may be an enabling mechanism for the most capable workers in formal sectors, it may also exclude or relegate others to less visible informal workplaces.
To appreciate the processes and perceptions underlying these differential outcomes, this research paper investigates the stories of Pakistani women as workers, farmers and entrepreneurs across a range of economic sectors. Through this lens we supplement the literature that focuses on the structure of trade and the economy by the thoughts of female participants themselves.
We identify systematic but often hidden obstacles to female employment and entrepreneurial opportunities across the entire socioeconomic spectrum. These include visible issues (such as capacity building) as well as less but equally important visible ones (such as implicit institutional bias). We find these are manifest not only in terms of human capacity building but effective capacity utilisation. This paper thereby offers insights into the complexities of gender-related aspects of employment and trade.
Tanwir, Maryam and Sidebottom, Richard
"The Trade and Gender Nexus in Pakistan,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 20:
2, Article 10.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol20/iss2/10