There are a dearth of studies that directly focus on women engaged in vulnerable employment in developing countries. Our study empirically investigates the factors that determine the large share of contributing family workers in the total employment of women in Pakistan in order to underscore the severity of vulnerable employment among women. The study utilizes the logit model for the primary empirical analysis and employs the recent and previously unexplored Pakistan Labor Force Surveys of 2014-15 and 2018-19 to conduct the econometric analysis. To explore the factors associated with women’s vulnerable employment in Pakistan, our study segregates the employment statuses into vulnerable and non-vulnerable employment. The unpaid/contributing family workers are used as a proxy for vulnerable employment, whereas women working as paid employees are used as a proxy for non-vulnerable employment. The empirical findings reveal that predominantly girls aged 10 to 14 are engaged as unpaid or contributing family workers. Additionally, large household size is found to increase the likelihood of women working as contributing family workers, whereas a woman’s migration status reduces this likelihood. Women’s education is found to be a significant factor in helping to secure decent employment. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first attempt to empirically highlight this issue at the policy level for Pakistan, using the latest survey data. To gain policy insights, our findings can be generalized to any developing country where a large percentage of women are engaged as contributing family workers. To steer the women who are contributing family workers away from vulnerable employment, our study proposes that it is essential to invest in women’s education, as well as to initiate skill development programs to reap community-wide benefits from women’s employment.
Andlib, Zubaria and Zafar, Sameen
"Women and Vulnerable Employment in the Developing World: Evidence from Pakistan,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 25:
7, Article 17.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol25/iss7/17