Byline: Yasir Zia - Wajid Ali
Women financial empowerment is one of the most negligent matters in almost every national budget of Pakistan, including current budget 2019-20. Pakistan is amongst countries where a huge bay exists between men and women in every aspect of life especially in their financial status. In Pakistan women population is closer to the men population. According to the latest censes 2017 figure the women population is 48.76 percent of country's total population where men and transgender restrains 51% and 0.24% of total population respectively. But the percentage of women bank borrowers is significantly low. According to the Washington Post only 8 percent women borrow from banks in Pakistan as compared to Brazil where 51 percent women borrow from banks.
Global Wage Report 2018-19 revealed that Pakistan has been ranked highest among 73 countries in gender pay gap which is notorious 34 percentage points. The clamant point is that it is more than double the global average. Report stumble on that Pakistan is amongst the countries where women wage account touches to the bottom low.
World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation is one of the best performer foundations to augment financial position of women in the world but their performance varies country to country due to state policies and intentions of stakeholders. Unfortunately, Pakistan is deprived in women financing efforts as compared to India where women with small loans have been uplifted their self. According to the IFC report women across India, mostly in rural areas have been lending to microfinance augmented 9 hundred percent from 2012 to 2018 from $2 billion to $20 billion to support their children's education and businesses. They have served 1.7 million borrowers with $564 million investment in equity and debt.
The portrait of gender financial gap is purely drawn by our budgetary colors where is no room for women economic empowerment if we take a look at the fiscal measures of budget 2019-20. Enhancing the economic growth by narrowing down gender financial gap needs to focus on triangular model; to minimize gender education gap, to minimize gender employment gap, and to minimize gender entrepreneurship gap. Rather the government increase education budget they cut it down as compared to budget 2018-2019 education expenditures which are now only 1 percent of total current expenditures and in prior budget it was 1.7 percent of the total current expenditures.