The Trade and Gender Interface: A Perspective from Pakistan
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Introduction: News on Pakistan’s trade performance is rarely found side by side, or even associated with, headlines on gender equality. Yet both are burning issues for Pakistani society. This article aims at highlighting their connections. Put differently, it shows how the world market is tied to Pakistani stoves. Trade is important for Pakistan’s economy due to the country’s comparative openness. The country—like most parts of the subcontinent—is a late globalizer, as compared to, for example, East Asia or Latin America. Structural adjustment programs implemented since 1988 under the aegis of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been one catalyst for trade liberalization. Trade tariffs were reduced significantly, resulting in rising trade to gross domestic product (GDP) ratios. Today, the value of exports from Pakistan surpasses 21 billion U.S. dollars. Besides textile manufactures such as cotton cloth, bed wear, and knitwear, key exports include rice as well as leather manufactures, indicating the special role of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors for Pakistan’s trade. The main export destinations include the northern markets of the United States and European countries—such as the United Kingdom and Germany—as well as the Gulf states and Hong Kong (China).
- gender equality
- gender interface
- work force