Into the Civic life: The Nexus of Urbanization, Education and Women’s Empowerment in Pakistan
Women comprise nearly 50 percent of the population of Pakistan which is enriched with a variety of regional, cultural, and ethnic values. These values are traditionally responsible for limiting opportunities for women and keeping them less empowered. This study examines the link between education and urbanization that is empowering women in Pakistan. Time series data for the period of 1980 to 2019 has been used for empirical analysis. The stationarity of data has been checked by using the ADF unit root test. All the variables used in the study have a unit root at the level and become stationary at first difference. Johansen's co-integration technique is utilized to check the long-run relationship between the variables used in the study. Instead of using any single variable, we have constructed the Women Empowerment Index (WEI) by using multiple women-related indicators for in-depth analysis. Empirical findings indicate that women's empowerment is positively associated with education and urbanization in Pakistan. Other controlled variables include domestic credit with a positive association and inflation with a negative association. The study shows that empowering women is sensitive to urbanization and education. There must be women-specific educational and training institutions across the country with a special focus on rural areas for equal availability of opportunities for women of all cultures. Urbanization provides greater social, economic and political opportunities for women. Same opportunities should be provided for women in rural areas to make them more empowered. Moreover, control of inflation and the provision of credit on easy terms will also help to enhance women's contribution to economic activity in Pakistan.