National Consultant to assess and develop a scheme for financial inclusion of rural women in Punjab
According to World Economic Forum, Pakistan Gender Inequality Index ranks 148 out of 149 countries (2018). Gender inequality is a significant barrier to Pakistan’s sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. Pakistan’s official Multidimensional Poverty Index (2015-16) shows that nearly 39 percent of Pakistanis live in multidimensional poverty, with the highest rates of poverty in Tribal Districts and Baluchistan.
Gender-based inequalities are in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity. In this respect, a specific area of intervention at the micro level which could yield important dividends for poverty reduction is the promotion of policies to allow women to balance their productive (women’s economic participation, financial inclusion their participation in the formal labour force market and etc.) and reproductive roles (realizing their reproductive rights), thereby increasing the total income of poor households.
According to the Women’s Economic and Social Wellbeing Survey in Punjab (2017-18), labour force participation rate of women, aged 15-64 is 36.3 %. Moreover, 39.3 % of women of the same age group have not attended school and 51.6% of women cannot read and write, which limits women’s economic participation.
Disaggregating urban and rural, the participation of rural women in Pakistan (Punjab) is high at 44% compared to only 16% in urban areas. However, the majority of women in the labour force (73%) are employed in the informal non-agricultural sector and the majority of unpaid family workers are also women.
83% of women earn minimum wage or below in Punjab, compared to 47% of men.
On the other hand, 30% of women owned agricultural land with average value of 1248 meters in Punjab while only 4.2% of women are proprietors of small scale industries, and the percentage of women employees is also low (17%) in these industries.
The women’s social and economic wellbeing survey (2018) reveals that only 9% of young women (age 18-46) in Punjab vs 24% men band accounts at bank or other financial institutions. This situation of women women’s financial inclusion is partly due to the lack of attention paid to women’s limited access, women’s limited mobility, low literacy and education and lack of adequately designed gender sensitive and specific financial products.
The findings of the Women’s Economic and Social Wellbeing Survey shed light to the issue of limited financial opportunities for women, including specialized financial schemes.
Punjab Growth Strategy 2023 also outlines that there be special attention on real development of backward areas by focusing on health, education and communication sectors. Growth strategy 2023 also aims at upgrading industries, agriculture and livestock sectors.
To respond to economic and social indicators for women in Punjab in line with Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 8, Women Development Department (WDD) Punjab plans to design a scheme to respond to the need of financial inclusion of Rural Women of Punjab with special focus on women with disability and women from minorities.
Purpose of consultancy:
To provide quality technical support to Punjab Women Development Department;
To support WDD in designing a financial inclusion scheme for further implementation by the government of Punjab.
Scope of Work:
1. In close consultation and coordination with the WDD, conduct a desk review of similar initiatives and mapping of partners in the province who can support the implementation of the design of the scheme.
2. Use Social and Economic Wellbeing Data from Private Sector Survey to inform the background research for the financial inclusion scheme.
3. Develop the design proposal (narrative and financial) for Women Development Department on financial inclusion of rural women with special focus on women with disability and women from minorities.
· Provide technical support to Women Development Department to develop a scheme which is sustainable and aligned to the Punjab Growth Strategy 2023 with special focus on women with disability and women from minorities.
· Develop a provincial financial inclusion strategy (FIS) which explores possibilities of bringing together diverse stakeholders including financial regulators and institutions, telecommunications, competition and education ministries, health ministries with special focus on women with disability and women from minorities.
· Identify potential linkages of the women identified with other services like ID registration, voter registration, transaction accounts, skills development opportunities, reproductive health services etc with special focus on women with disability and women from minorities.
4. Share with expert group from government and civil society for review and inputs to strengthen the design. Facilitate a validation workshop on scheme for financial inclusion of rural women in Punjab.
5. Facilitate a meeting with donors to share the design for gauging potential interest for the scheme.
Duration and working schedule: 45 days spread over June and August 2019
Places where services are to be delivered: Islamabad- Lahore
Supervisory arrangements: Consultant will report to Deputy Representative UNFPA and Women Development Department
Required expertise, qualifications and competencies, including language requirements:
Advance university degree preferably PhD in social sciences with specialization on women rights, gender related data analysis, and policy advocacy and research.
Knowledge and experience
· Minimum ten (10) years of experience in gender and statistics
· In-depth experience of engaging with government departments and policy makers and ample demonstrated familiarity of the gender indicators and dynamics in Pakistan.
· Extensive work experience with government statistical institutions, UN and/or international development-oriented organization on data for development advocacy.
· Ability to work with, and review data and develop relevant communication approaches/tools to present findings in user friendly manner.
· Excellent analytical, presentation and writing skills.