A recent report from the Bureau of Statistics on Education in Pakistan (BSES) reveals that over 60% of female students graduating from government college in Punjab and Sindh have not started their full-time job in the next two years.
The data reveals that out of the 9.6 million students in the country, only 5.6% have found full- time employment, while over 100,000 students in Punjab, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan are still struggling to get by.
The numbers show that the Government of Pakistan (GPO) should be paying more attention to the needs of female graduates in the public sector and instead of funding the government college to provide them with a new salary, instead of subsidising them to complete their degree.
The government college’s salary, which was Rs. 2,500 per month (approximately US$400) in 2016, is just one of the many barriers to women in the workplace.
According to a 2016 report from a think tank, the Government College of Women in Pakistan, a private institution affiliated with the Education Ministry, only 15% of women graduates from the private government colleges earn at least the Rs. 50,000 per month they were promised.
The report also revealed that the government has not funded the full cost of the education for the women students and that the average cost of tuition is $3,800 per month.
The government also fails to provide the full salaries of the women employees of government colleges to the women graduates, especially when they have to compete for the same jobs as men in the private sector.
The Ministry of Women, Child Development and Family Welfare also stated that the salaries of women employees at government colleges are often less than that of their male counterparts.
As a result, the government does not offer any benefits to the female graduates to keep them from taking up employment in the higher education sector.
In 2016, the average salary for a male and female graduate at a government college was Rs 5,700 and Rs 6,300 respectively, while the average pay for a graduate at the private and public universities was Rs 3,500 and Rs 3.6,600 respectively.
The Government College for Women in Lahore also states that women graduates at the government colleges face many difficulties.
“They do not have access to health facilities, and they are often harassed and discriminated against,” said Naeem.
“Women in this profession need a better environment, better resources, and a better pay.”
The report from BSSES, which is an independent, non-governmental organisation that collects data on education and women’s issues in Pakistan , said that more than 90% of the students at government and private colleges are illiterate.
“We want the government to improve their education system so that women can start their careers and find a better career.
There are too many barriers for women to achieve their dream.”