Survey reveals More than 20% Female engineers choose to stay unemployed

The Labour Force Survey for 2020-21 has unveiled striking statistics regarding
female engineering graduates. Out of a total of 28,920, only 28 percent are
employed, while a significant 20.9 percent are unemployed, and a staggering 50.9
percent are not actively participating in the labor force.
This information was derived from a collaborative study by Gallup Pakistan and
PRIDE, utilizing data from the Labour Force Survey. The study focused on female
engineering graduates, encompassing individuals with qualifications ranging from
Bachelors to PhDs in any engineering field.
Analyzing the data in terms of location, it was found that 21.1 percent of all
engineering graduates resided in rural areas, with the majority, 78.9 percent,
situated in urban regions. In rural areas, 43.9 percent of engineering graduates
were employed, while 36.3 percent were unemployed. Notably, the proportion of
those choosing to remain out of the labor force was lower in rural areas, at 19.8
percent, compared to the national average of 50.9 percent.
In urban areas, 24.0 percent of female engineering graduates were employed,
while 16.8 percent were unemployed. However, a substantial majority, 59.2
percent, were not actively participating in the labor force.
Dr Umer Khalid, Director PRIDE highlighted that “half of all female engineering
graduates opt to remain out of labour force, and the substantial majority of these
‘out of labour force’ graduates is residing in urban areas and are married. This is
indicative of the presence of a social trend of getting professional education in
order to secure better marriage prospects. The government needs to review the
policy of allocation of seats at least in the public sector engineering colleges/
universities to ensure value for money.”
Comparing employment figures by region, it’s evident that employment
opportunities for female engineering graduates are considerably higher in urban
areas (67.2 percent) compared to rural regions (32.8 percent). The percentage of
unemployed engineering graduates was lower in rural areas (36.5 percent) than in
urban areas (63.5 percent). Additionally, the majority of engineering graduates
not participating in the labor force (14,720) were found in urban areas (91.8
percent), with only a small fraction in rural areas (8.2 percent).

Notably, of the engineering graduates choosing to stay out of the labor force, 64.2
percent were married, while 28.42 percent had never married. In terms of age
groups, the highest percentage of female engineering graduates falls within the
25-34 years bracket (50.9 percent), followed by the 35-44 years group (21.7