JISPIL Vol 3 Issue 2 2007 - A3


This paper seeks to analyse the issue of women's employment in the informal sector[1] in Pakistan by engaging in a discussion on Islamic perspectives on women's work and legal pluralism.

*Research Fellow School of Law, University of Warwick and former lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.

[1] According to the Resolution adopted by the 15th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS), the informal sector comprises units, such as households enterprises, engaged in the production of goods and services with the primary objective of generating employment and income to the persons concerned, not necessarily with the deliberate intention of evading the payment of taxes or other legislative or administrative provision. These units typically operate at a low level of organization, on a small scale, and with labour relations mostly based on causal employment. The definition of the informal sector in Pakistan is formulated in terms of the first two criterion, namely, household enterprise and size of employment. In the language of the international standards, the informal sector in Pakistan is defined for statistical purpose as follows:

1)All household enterprises owned and operated by own-account workers,

irrespective of the size of the enterprise (informal own-account


2) Household enterprises owned and operated by employers with less than

10 persons engaged, and

3)Excluded are all household enterprises engaged in agricultural activities

or wholly engaged in non-market production.

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