Emerging Issues of Women in Urban Context of Pakistan
Workshop on "Emerging Issues of Women in Urban Context of Pakistan"
“Emerging Gender Issues in Urban Context of Pakistan” was a key informants’ focus group discussion on digital literacy, financial inclusion, and technological access to Urban women in Pakistan. It was held on August 12, 2022, at LUMS. The workshop was attended by organizations including Karandaaz, HomeNet, Circle, Dbank, OXFAM, and Khudkaar. The diverse interventions of these organizations were discussed with a focus on challenges faced by the beneficiaries and the steps taken to improve earning opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses especially through technology. Participants also explored women’s preference to work from home, technology use, and the role of socio-cultural norms in affecting women's work particularly outside the home. The main policy level insights suggested facilitating women to get internet access on cheaper rates, encourage SIM ownership and usage of digital wallets, and easy access to loans especially for low-income women.
Technology Design for Female Factory Workers
Exploring Gendered Technology Use in Pakistan
Female Workers Vulnerabilities During COVID and Access to Technology
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a loss of approximately 255 million jobs and global labour income declined by 8.3% or US $3.7 trillion. Pakistan has been no exception to the economic slowdown and livelihood losses. The initial Covid-19 lockdowns resulted in the loss of 20.76 million livelihoods in Pakistan (making up 35% of the total workforce), out of which approximately 3 million did not regain employment by July 2020. Some sectors, such as the informal sector, have been hit especially hard, with already marginalized populations being hit hardest. In this study, we will be focusing on the women's home-based and domestic worker populations. Lacking worker benefits and state support for protection, not only are such workers amongst the most vulnerable, but the pandemic has further amplified their social and economic vulnerabilities. However, there is currently no formal study that documents and explores the mechanisms these women have employed to navigate the new economic landscape. We aim to explore the strategies and mechanisms HBWs and DWs are currently using to manage their finances and generate income. An understanding of their existing strategies and access to specific opportunities (like digital technology) will help us create a detailed policy brief and framework to help expand their access to opportunities for economic growth. One such powerful opportunity is the leveraging of social commerce and digital technology.
Workshop with Women's Rights Organizations
A workshop titled “Domestic and Home-Based Women Worker Vulnerabilities during Covid-19 and the Role of Digital Technology” was held on February 18, 2022, at LUMS. This event was conducted and hosted by the Gender and Tech Cluster. The purpose of this workshop was to understand how low-income and low-literate women navigate the patriarchal landscape at home and the workplace. With a major focus on Domestic and Home Based Workers, this discussion focused on themes including harassment and marginalization, women's access to safe spaces, and access to technology with a focus on mobile usage. The main insights of the workshop revolved around advocacy for worker rights to fight against harassment and abuse, formation of collective bargaining groups and women chambers to facilitate home based businesses and avoid worker exploitation. The workshop participants included representatives from organizations including Akhuwat, Kashf Foundation, Circle, Mumkin Alliance, HomeNet, FACES, WISE, and Women’s Action Forum.