Facts and Figures of Female Labour Force Participation in Major Cities and Overall Pakistan


The participation of women in the labor force is a crucial aspect of a nation’s development and progress. In Pakistan, like many other countries, the issue of female labor force participation has been a topic of significant interest. In this blog post, we will explore the facts and figures surrounding female labor force participation in major cities and the overall landscape of Pakistan. By delving into the statistics, we aim to shed light on the current state of affairs and the challenges that need to be addressed.

Overview of Female Labor Force Participation:

  1. Female Labor Force Participation Rate in Major Cities:

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) measures the percentage of women, aged 15 years and above, who are either employed or actively seeking employment. According to recent data, the LFPR for females in major cities of Pakistan varies. For example, in Karachi, the LFPR stands at approximately 24%, while in Lahore, it is around 22%. Other major cities like Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta exhibit similar trends.

  1. Overall Female Labor Force Participation in Pakistan:

When considering the overall female labor force participation rate in Pakistan, the statistics reveal a lower rate compared to their male counterparts. According to available data, the female LFPR in Pakistan is approximately 22%. This indicates that a significant portion of the female population remains outside the formal labor market.

Factors Influencing Female Labor Force Participation:

  1. Cultural and Social Norms:

Deeply rooted cultural and social norms play a significant role in shaping the labor force participation of women in Pakistan. Traditional gender roles, family responsibilities, and societal expectations often limit women’s access to education and employment opportunities.

  1. Educational Attainment:

Access to quality education and skill development is crucial for empowering women and increasing their participation in the labor force. Although strides have been made in improving female education rates, there is still a gap that needs to be bridged, especially in rural areas.

  1. Gender Wage Gap:

The gender wage gap remains a challenge, with women earning less than their male counterparts for similar work. This disparity not only affects individual women but also serves as a deterrent to female labor force participation.

Efforts and Initiatives:

Recognizing the importance of promoting female labor force participation, various initiatives and programs have been undertaken to address the existing challenges. These include:

  1. Women Empowerment Programs:

Government-led initiatives focus on empowering women through skill development, entrepreneurship opportunities, and financial inclusion. These programs aim to enhance economic independence and create an enabling environment for women to join the labor force.

  1. Workplace Policies:

Both the public and private sectors have introduced policies to promote gender diversity, equal opportunities, and work-life balance. Encouraging flexible working arrangements and providing childcare facilities can help mitigate some of the barriers faced by women.

  1. Awareness and Advocacy:

Civil society organizations, NGOs, and women’s rights activists play a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of female labor force participation. Their advocacy efforts contribute to changing societal mindsets and promoting gender equality in the workplace.

Sources of Data:

To obtain accurate and up-to-date statistics on female labor force participation in major cities and overall Pakistan, researchers and data users can refer to the following reliable sources:

  1. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (www.pbs.gov.pk): The official website of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provides various reports, surveys, and statistical data on different socio-economic aspects, including labor force participation rates and gender-specific data.
  2. International Labour Organization (ILO) – Pakistan (www.ilo.org/islamabad): The ILO’s website for Pakistan offers research reports, publications, and data related to labor market trends, including female labor force participation.
  3. World Bank (www.worldbank.org): The World Bank provides extensive research, reports, and data on various development indicators, including labor force participation rates, gender equality, and women’s empowerment in Pakistan.
  4. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Pakistan (www.pk.undp.org): The UNDP’s Pakistan website offers publications and reports on socio-economic development, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, which may include relevant data on female labor force participation.
  5. Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM): PSLM is a nationally representative survey conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. It provides valuable data on various socio-economic indicators, including labor force participation rates and gender-specific information.
  6. Research Studies and Academic Journals: Researchers and data users can refer to academic journals and research studies conducted by universities, research institutions, and scholars in Pakistan. These studies often include in-depth analysis, statistical data, and insights on female labor force participation.


Understanding the facts and figures of female labor force participation in major cities and overall Pakistan is crucial for fostering an inclusive and progressive society. By acknowledging the challenges and utilizing the available data, policymakers, organizations, and individuals can work towards creating an environment that encourages and supports women’s active participation in the labor force. Through collective efforts, we can strive for gender equality and empower women to contribute effectively to the economic growth and development of the nation.