It is to analyze the urban and rural market in Pakistan in respect of women’s labour through this chapter. Before analyzing it will be focused on social and cultural strong-ness of the market, interaction between market and its social influence and contribution of working women in various professional set-up. The discussion on the changes took place in the formal and informal sectors and gender structure of the informal sector would be the important part of the chapter.
The study of market, which has been conducted in Western societies pointed out social and cultural strong-ness of economic action and processes: hence a few psychoanalysis relating to strong-ness of markets in non-Western societies exist so far. In this regard, the study of Evers and Schrader is the one of them (1994) in which the authors examine the approaches that traders, in moral economies of agrarian societies build up to avoid the “traders dilemma”. Discrimination and ethnic isolation of the traders have been given a weight through sociological studies.
The research of the Evers and Schrader focus on the outlook of the traders. Economic reforms which have been taking place since the beginning of the 1980 in the countries of the south. A huge number of women has inducted into the labour market, especially into an industrial wing. These economic reforms are directly linked to the coming out of a global assembly line (Bakker 1994:2) that is the flexibilities of work and the relocation of labour-intensive production, particularly of export-oriented industries like manufacturing and electronics, from countries of the North. Since 1980, a huge number of experimental studies has been published that is focusing particularly on male factory workers in export-oriented industries. Hence, the aim of the study was to discuss the life and working position of women in export oriented industries.
The impact of economic reforms on women regarding advantages and disadvantages of paid employment has also been discussed (Pearson 1996:175f).28 The feminist economists highlighted the gender relations and disparities at the market and its impact on the way of economic procedure (Cagatay 1995:1827f; Elson 1993a:545; Elson 1995:1864). The responsible role of women in production of social status of the family is overlooked which leads to various economical attitudes of women as compared to men. Elson emphasizes on the significant of economy in respect of the position of women’s life in which more period is dedicated to unpaid work in social reproduction and paid work in production.
Unequal gender relations as an intervening variable that structures economic processes at macro and micro levels are identified by the people (Elson 1995:1863). Correspondingly, unequal gender relations are supposed as blockade to the most effective and creative use of human funds (Elson 1995:1856), and are the achievement of the macroeconomic goals of adjustment policies (Cagatay et. al. 1995:1828; Elson/ McGee 1995:1991; Walters 1997:49). In the next segment, in the light of recent labour force survey, the structure of the female employment in Pakistan would be discussed. It would also be paying attention on the informal and formal sector as well as gendered structure of the informal sector. Finally, participation of females in education and training programs would also be a part of the discussion.