Pakistan has significantly improved its score on the entrepreneurship indicator of Woman, Business and the Law (WBL) index, from 50 to 75 points, according to WBL Report 2021.
The rise is mainly being attributed to reforms introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), enabling women to register a company effectively and promptly.
WBL Report is a World Bank publication that evaluates laws and regulations of 190 countries to identify requirements that restrict women’s economic opportunities.
The report covers eight broad areas; mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and pension.
In the 2021 report, Pakistan has improved its score on two prominent indicators; entrepreneurship and workplace, resulting in upgrading the overall score to 55.6, from 49.4 in 2020.
Pakistan has been included in a list of five economies that have introduced reforms to improve entrepreneurship opportunities for women.
It is encouraging to note that from March 2020 to March 2021, SECP registered 21,168 companies, out of which 5,145 companies have at least one women director, which accounts for 24.3 percent of total incorporation during the period.
SECP, aware of the vital role played by women in economic growth, has introduced several steps to improve gender mainstreaming within the organization.
The recent measures include an increase in the maternity leave from 90 to 180 days, ensured 48 percent representation of females in new hiring and 23 percent representation in promotions. At SECP, there is 29 percent female representation at senior levels, and 23 percent women are working at management cadre.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day celebrations, SECP Commissioner Sadia Khan encouraged women to actively volunteer for various activities and said that events on diversity should be a regular feature during the year, where women can discuss all the progress made in the past and deliberate on the way forward.