Press Releases

IFC and Pakistan Business Council Join Forces to Boost Women Employment in Pakistan

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +(202) 2461-4230

Karachi, Pakistan, March 14, 2018—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Pakistan Business Council (PCB), the country’s leading business advocacy group, are hosting a conference today to address the challenges that hinder women’s employment opportunities in Pakistan and to support women’s participation in the country’s economy.

Although women represent 49 percent of Pakistan’s adult population, they hold only 1 in 14 jobs in the country’s businesses, amounting to just 7 percent of the labor force - the third lowest rate in the world. In addition, only 24 percent of working age women in Pakistan work, compared to 83 percent of working age men, and just 1 in 17 companies in Pakistan is led by a woman.

“To be responsible in business, one needs to build sustainable value over the short, medium and long terms,” said Fuad Hashimi, Executive Director of The Pakistan Business Council’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business. “Gender equality is crucial to creating sustainable value and should be one of the top five strategic goals of a business.”  

The conference will highlight how Pakistani businesses can tap into the large—and underutilized—pool of female talent by featuring some of the most innovative initiatives from PBC member companies and banks. The aim is to help reduce the current gender gap in the workforce and strengthen firms’ pipeline of future leaders by including female talent.

“Investing in women’s employment can help companies tap into larger talent pools, win the war for talent, and ultimately become more competitive,” said Shabana Khawar, Principal Country Officer in Pakistan.

The conference is part of a one-year partnership between the IFC and the PBC launched in October 2017, which aims to promote female participation in Pakistan’s labor force and support the country's economy. The partnership is part of a larger IFC effort to drive economic development and promote gender inclusion in Pakistan.

 About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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