Women’s Economic Engagement in South Asia
The status of women’s labour force participation in the eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is still below the expectations of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Afghanistan’s low ranking among these countries is a major point of concern within the SAARC region. Although strides have been made in advancing women’s participation in a variety of fields, deep inequalities between genders continue to persist. While the challenges Afghan women face should be viewed in relation to the sustained instability that has upset the country for decades and shaped the way gender roles impact the workforce, this cannot justify the lack of available support and infrastructure for women’s labour force participation.
This paper is significant in how it both compares and contrasts Afghanistan’s engagement of women in the economy with other SAARC countries. Lessons can be gleaned in the strategies and initiatives adopted of how women were drawn to participate in the economic activities in some of the SAARC countries. However, more still needs to be done in this area