Pakistani Women in Science and Technology

Equal participation of men and women in scientific research drives innovation and strengthens the economy. It is believed that diversity in science can bring together people with unique backgrounds. There is a significant role of science in society, for peace and development and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues is the need of the hour. The need is to promote research partnerships with equitable gender representation and underline the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

Gender equality and parity in science is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Keeping women away from the revolutionary scientific fields of 21st century will greatly hamper the development at global level. It is believed that untapped potential of women in areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) may weaken the innovation potential of a society.

Pakistan is a developing country that is striving to accelerate its economic growth and catch up with the pace of the fast growing economies of the region. Women are about 48.5 % of Pakistan’s total population. Despite constituting almost half of the population, women are an underutilized talent. Women have remained somewhat under-represented in most disciplines of science and technology, and furthermore, are not well-represented at the most senior levels in all disciplines. The job options for women remain limited to agriculture, services (domestic) and small-scale industries.

For achieving national development it is an economic necessity to utilize their talents to the full at all levels of scientific and technological education, training and employment. The low socio-economic status of women in Pakistan is beginning to be recognized as a potentially significant drag on the country’s growth.

No doubt, women are growing in numbers in the traditional male professions such as engineering, law, medicine, business, the police and the military. Women's ranks have also grown in the nation's entertainment, news and mass media and they are much freer than ever to express themselves in the choice of appearance, speech, clothing, arts, entertainment etc. A number of women have moved up into the executive positions. Women now make up 4.6% of board members of Pakistani companies

According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015, 37% of female researchers belong to the medical sciences, 33.8% of female researchers in Pakistan belong to natural sciences, 15.4% belong to engineering and technology, 11% belong to the agricultural sciences while 39.9% belong to the social sciences and humanities. According to the Pakistan Education Statistics, 2015-16 by AEPAM, the Gross Enrollment Ratio of females in primary and secondary education has increased from the previous years

According to PCST R&D Surveys 2013-14, the number of female researchers (headcount) by field of science and sector of employment has increased from the previous years. Similarly, according to Higher Education Commission Annual Report 2013-14, the enrolment of females in Universities is on the rise.

Realizing the widening gender gap and the obscured status of women in socio-economic development, especially focusing on the gender dimension of science and technology, Pakistan Council for Science & Technology (PCST) has taken a lead to foster women in scientific community and to improve visibility of women scientists by maintaining a website and starting a project on collecting data on statistics of women representation in science and technology

The data and materials provided here relate to Gender Education, Women Empolyment, Women in Science, Women in Health and Women Empowerment. The data would hopefully serve as a reference material for the scientific community and for the professionals working in the field of women’s empowerment, as well.

The Table below provides the Global Gender Gap Report 2017 indicating Scores and Rank of Pakistan in last twelve years (Published by the World Economic Forum)

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 indicating Scores and Rank of Pakistan in last twelve years (Published by the World Economic Forum)


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Gender Dimension of Science and Technology

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Women Employment

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Women Entrepreneurship

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Gender Education

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Women in Health

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Women in Science

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History of Women Empowerment in Pakistan

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Protection against Harrasment of Women at Workplace