Friday, 28 August 2015

Women’s work and wages

by Haris Gazdar
Photo Credit: Collective for Social Science Research

While researching the linkages between women’s work in agriculture and nutrition outcomes in Pakistan, for Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), we came across an instructive puzzle. A big segment of the workforce is ruled out from participating in a particularly labour-intensive activity. The harvesting of cotton, an important cash crop, generates a great deal of seasonal employment in the rural economy but the work is almost entirely carried out by women who might remain employed on a non-stop basis for up to four months. Women and men, labourers and employers, all concur that it is women’s work, and a man stands to lose respect and status if he takes part in it.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The chingchi's tryst with Karachi

By Kabeer Dawani

Qingqi by Carol Mitchell/Flickr

With at least 16 million people, Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan, and one of the largest in the world. Yet, it does not have a mass transit system to serve the transport needs of its residents (except motorbikes of course!). The most recent form of mass transit that was present was the Karachi Circular Railway, which was shut down in 1999. Since then, several new schemes to increase buses have failed, with the result that the total number of buses and minibuses has stayed roughly constant over the last 15 years. But with a growing population, the demand for public transport has only increased.