Our newly elected government is trying to set a lot of records straight and is making a lot of new changes to the way things were run. Very recently, the Federal Government announced a new 18-member Economic Advisory Council, composed of brilliant Pakistani individuals from all around the world.
We’ve got people not only from renowned national institutions but also from prestigious international ones like Harvard, Princeton and University College, London.
And it has received a lot of praise for being inclusive of minorities despite the immense backlash.
Imran Khan has come under fire for wanting to include Atif Mian in Economic Advisory Council since his dharna days, for Atif being an Ahmadi. IK has however stayed steadfast that religious beliefs do not matter in running key state affairs. He finally gets his way!
— Bojack Shaykhman (@ShaykhSaahb) September 1, 2018
But there’s a tiny little problem: there is no female representation on the council.
In a country where half the population is made up of women, it is incredibly shocking to see how a lot of interesting and different perspectives may be missed out on. A lot of women-centric problems might also be ignored given that there is no one to voice those concerns or perspectives.
Many people have been quoting Saadia Zahidi, who herself is an Executive Committee member at the World Economic Forum, and sharing how women will bring about a revolution if given the chance to, and have been reshaping their workplaces in unprecedented ways.
In light of Pakistan's government creating an all-male Economic Advisory Council, wanted to share these excerpts from @zahidi's brilliant book (Fifty Million Rising) about working women transforming the Muslim world: pic.twitter.com/Ih0Da3Giyo
— Natasha Japanwala (@NatJapanwala) September 2, 2018
But all in all, people can’t understand why there’s no female representation…
Why are there no women on the Economic Advisory Council? I urge @PTIofficial @ImranKhanPTI to reconsider this decision and include women in economic decision-making. https://t.co/cnfSaKklZ2
— Bina Shah (@BinaShah) September 2, 2018
And there’s a valid outrage.
An 18 member economic advisory council appointed by the government and not one woman on it! This is what we should be outraged about!
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) September 1, 2018
People love that our country is now seeing some actual reforms, but wish they were a bit more balanced.
It’s time that evidence-based policymaking becomes the cornerstone of institution building and structural reforms. While I am proud to see CERP represented so well, I wish we had more gender balance in Pakistan’s new Economic Advisory Council (EAC). https://t.co/d9vJRE9V4Y
— Maroof A. Syed (@MaroofAliSyed) September 1, 2018
Some are suggesting credible female economists who can be a part of the Advisory Council.
It makes no sense there are no women on the newly formed Economic Advisory Council. Surely woman economist must be included to advocate for Pakistan’s women in economic decisions. I urge the government to reconsider Well said @BinaShah. List of potential women for the EAC pic.twitter.com/Po65Vy4qTp
— Hina Butt (@hinaparvezbutt) September 2, 2018
While many female economists like Fawzia Naqvi and Noor Aftab are coming up themselves, asking why the council has no inclusivity.
I am co-founder & board member of one of the finest economic & social development think tanks in Pakistan @ideaspak new Economic Council has 18 men. Not one woman. This is quite an outrage. Are women not part of the economy? Do they not have a stake in Pakistan? Did you search?
— NewYorkistanian (@fawzianaqvi1) September 1, 2018
Thanks @FreehaShaukat for raising voice on this very important matter. Pakistan has 50% women population; only 30% of them work and when they do work they earn 1/5th of man's salary. Any wonder why we are lowest on Gender Gap? The change starts with having #women. https://t.co/PErmDlEznA
— Noor Aftab (@nooraftab) September 2, 2018
But at the end of it, people are urging the government to reconsider and include some women on the panel.
We need women representation on the Economic Advisory Council. There is no dearth of qualified women in this country. I add my voice to those who are asking PM @ImranKhanPTI to ensure balance for a strong Pakistan
— jehan_ara (@jehan_ara) September 1, 2018
Whatever the causes may be, it does make you stop and wonder why the government thought that there was no woman capable enough to be able to finally break the glass ceiling, given that we do have so many of brilliant women economists around.
But, at this point in time, Pakistanis only wish to be heard, and have the council be made more inclusive.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments.
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