Opportunity

How Pakistan’s Economic Boon Is a Win for Women

052616_PACE_IL_domore

Sewing clothes may also sow seeds of opportunity for women in Pakistan, according to findings from the World Bank.

The report, called "Stitches to Riches? Apparel Employment, Trade and Economic Development," says Pakistan is headed toward an economic boon, based on a fast-growing apparel manufacturing sector, according to a writeup in The Financial.

Though China has been the leader in global apparel manufacturing, neighboring countries in Southeast Asia are quickly catching up. While Pakistan has gradually established its apparel manufacturing industry, the report finds it could grow to become a powerhouse in the sector. 

But the story doesn't end with the economic benefits of new jobs. The Stitches to Riches report points out that women in Pakistan stand to reap the most benefits, since they compose the majority of people working in global apparel manufacturing.

In the report, Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President of for the South Asia Region, states, "Employed women tend to have fewer children, reducing population growth, and several studies have found that women are more likely to dedicate their income to the health and education of children. "

The longer-term, generational impact of empowered women has long been a tenet of Gap, Inc.'s P.A.C.E. program, which gives women the skills and confidence to advance themselves in work and life. This year, Gap Inc. committed to educating one million women via the P.A.C.E. program by 2020.

Assessments conducted by the International Center for Research on Women showed that P.A.C.E. graduates are more likely to be promoted to supervisory positions, they demonstrated higher self-efficacy and they were more willing to be cross-trained to become multi-skilled.