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  • Jan 26th, 2016
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The country director of the United Nations Development Programme believes Pakistan needs 1.5 million jobs to provide decent work opportunities to the increasing number of youth entering working age every year.

Marc Andre Franche, while speaking at a launching ceremony of the 'Human Development Report 2015' report prepared by the UN agency on Monday, said, "The issue of inequality of work opportunities is causing a widening gap between different socio-economic classes and seriously damages Pakistan's progress towards medium and high human development. The quality of work is deteriorating over time as an increasing number of people are employed as casual and unpaid family workers. How can quality of work be improved to raise the human development level of individuals and families?" He went on to say, "The key messages of the report are work is broader than just jobs. It intrinsically contributes to human development, but the links are not automatic. The world of work is changing fast with opportunities and risks as well as with winners and losers. Addressing gender imbalances in paid and unpaid work is a must for human development. Sustainable work is critical for sustainable development goals. Enhancing human development through work will require strategic policy interventions." While sharing the report findings, he went on to say 795 million people were suffering from chronic hunger, 780 million adult and 103 million youth illiterates, 11 children under five died every minute and 33 mothers every hour during child birth.

He said, "Globally, half of employed women are in vulnerable jobs. In businesses, women represent only 22 percent of senior managers. Globally women earn 24 percent less than men. Women constitute 83 percent of 53 million domestic workers. For every four hours of unpaid work, women carry out three hours. Annual economic losses due to gender gaps in work are $60 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa." The publication provides an account of the state of human development in the world and the key drivers impacting it.

The 2015 HDR underlines that while "work" is a major foundation for both the richness of economies and the richness of human lives, it is usually conceptualised in economic terms rather than in terms of human progress. The report's main argument is that human progress will be accelerated when quality work opportunities are accessible to everyone including women, young people, minority groups and the marginalized groups. Kashf Foundation Managing Director Roshaneh Zafar, Punjab Information Technology Board Chairman Doctor Umar Saif and Economics Lahore University of Management Sciences Associate Professor Dr Faisal Bari also spoke on the occasion.

Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies Dean Dr Adil Najam then presented an overview of the National Human Development Report which is in the final stages of preparation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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