‘Cyber Security Girls Scouts’ Matching Global Trends

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The foremost problem the world is facing today is unemployment. The ratio of unemployment is increasing rapidly due to lack of resources and in result so many crimes are automatically increase. Pakistan the Asian country has plenty of problems in these days and unemployment is one of those. Unemployment causes numerous problems for people of nation. Pakistan has countless natural resources but problem is that resources are being wasted since the independence of Pakistan in 1947. You may find many graduates, masters, IT experts, engineers and doctors wandering around for job opportunities due to a skewed employment system. People of Pakistan are considered h i g h l y t a l e n t e d a n d hardworking in the world and there is no value of talent in Pakistan therefore, it is the reason many of e n g i n e e r s, d o c t o r s, Scientists, technicians and accountants travel in foreign countries to earn their livelihood.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has warned that the growth rate of the available work force shall exceed the rate of job creation globally. Million more people will become unemployed in 2018. A further increase to the figures carried over from 2016 to 2017, a period in which the ILO has estimated that the global unemployment rate will rise from 5.7 to 5.8 percent. The increase in unemployment levels in 2017 is caused by the deterioration of labor market conditions in emerging countries. The effects of various deep recessions that took place in 2016 have affected and will continue to affect the current labor markets, according to the report titled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017′(WESO) prepared by the ILO.

Economic growth has picked up in Pakistan to respectable levels but is still unable to absorb the rising number of job-seekers entering the labour market. The unemployment rate in Pakistan is on the rise, depriving a large part of the population of its livelihood and preventing the harnessing of real potential of both manpower a n d n a t u r a l r e sour c e s for development.

Unemployment r a t e in Pakistan remained unchanged at 5.90 percent in 2 0 1 6 from 5.90 percent in 2015. Unemployment rate in Pakistan averaged 5.47 percent from 1985 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 7.80 percent in 2002 and a record low of 3.10 percent in 1987.

According to the short-term IMF forecast, Pakistan’s economy was bound to grow at 5 percent in fiscal year 2017 and 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2018. The Fund also projects a slight increase in unemployment ratio from the 6 percent to 6.1 percent in the year 2018. This ratio was 5.9 percent in fiscal year 2015, much higher than the 5 percent considered by economists as ‘full employment’.

Women in the workforce hold the key to a vibrant economy. Though Pakistan has seen a turnaround in economic st a b i l it y b u t wit h o u t women’s participation in the workforce, accelerated growth will be a challenge. Despite a slow increase in the last 16 years, a mere 22 p e r c e n t o f w o m e n (compared to 67.8 percent of men) officially partake in some economic activity in Pakistan. This is one of the lowest rates of female labour force’s participation in the region, second only to A f g h a n i s t a n . B y comparison, in Vietnam and Bangladesh, the female labour force’s participation rate is 73 percent and 36 percent, respectively, and women are recognised as a key economic force. Low female labour force participation has clear implications for accelerated economic growth in Pakistan. A 2016 IMF paper estimates that closing gender gaps in economic participation could boost GDP in Pakistan by up to 30 percent. Beyond smart economics, closing gaps between men and women, girls and boys has intrinsic value for the cycle it creates for gains in families, communities and national economies.

In the contemporary world women participation in every aspect of work is phenomenal despite facing hindrances in society. Women constitute half of Pakistan’s population and their contribution has been remarkable in every facet of life however their vitality and potential has never been fully realized in the past 70 years after independence.

In such a scenario there was an urgent need to enhance capabilities of the women of Pakistan in order to make them more independent economically and certainly to give their share in country’s financial growth. If you think being a Girl Scout is all camping, crafting, and cooking, you need to think again. For the first time in Pakistan, millions of Girl Scouts nationwide are taking on hacking and cybercrime as they work towards earning under the umbrella of Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR). A curriculum will be prepared to educate young girls about the basics of computer networks, cyber attacks, and online safety. The purpose and goal of Cyber Security Girls’ Scouts’ initiative by COPAIR is to prevent cyber attacks and restore trust in digital operations by training “tomorrow’s diverse and innovative team of problem solvers equipped to counter emerging cyber threats as well as to empower the girls both economically and socially. Another very important aspect of this girls’ scouts’ initiative is to instill “a valuable 21st century skill set” in girls of Pakistan.

As the cyberspace is expanding, there are more chances of cyber-attacks in Pakistan. The yearly loss to the global economy in the year 2017 was Rs49.8 trillion. In 2019 it is expected that this loss will increase to Rs221 trillion. In order to fight against this, a collective effort is required.

Today, everything on the internet can be hacked. In this context, the most vulnerable sector in Pakistan, where data security against fraud attempts is as fragile as a cobweb, is banking, a moot on cyber security was told. US-based IT research company, Gartner, Inc., says that there are now 6.4 billion connected devices globally and by 2020 this figure will balloon to 20.8 billion. Similarly, Russian cyber security company, Kaspersky Lab, states that the next world war will be a cyber war.

To build open doors for women in economy, they should have an entrance to better occupations, a business domain that backing them in working together, access to financial sector that address their issues, and job security in the midst of emergencies. To ensure legitimate rights of women, and to ensure that their voices are heard are critical components of strengthening women empowerment. Economically empowered women have more contribution to their families, societies and national economies. Women should be provided skills, resources and equal access to economic institutions. Women ought to have the ability to settle on and follow up on financial choices. Employment and education opportunities for women diminish household poverty. Women should be given access to economic resources for contributing to growth. Though in Pakistan women labor force participation is low and centers in the gender divided labor markets which show gender inequality. Women are provided less education and training, almost no entrance to credit, vulnerability to claim their property, hard business registration strategies, and challenging entry in business networks. Women skills should be expedited on a platform. Women potential are needed to be shown in a developing country like Pakistan, having burden of billions of loan to repay. Both men and women efforts and determinations are required to become a developed nation. In our society women who are participating in the economy are not that respected in comparison to women holding only domestic activities. Strategies must be implemented so that women can show their potentials at both indoor and outdoor level. Even house wives ought to be urged to demonstrate their potential by including themselves in creative activities. Women willing to do job outside home should be given security and esteem in our society.

Cyber security girl’s scouts’ initiative by COPAIR is certainly going to just make girls feel empowered. Earlier E-Women campaign by COPAIR has got much appreciation across the country and even around the globe. E-Women, is a platform to train and empower women in order to make them participate in economic activity being part of a family. Women remain vastly underrepresented in the cyber security industry, holding just 11 percent of jobs globally. In our increasingly tech-driven world, future generations must possess the skills to navigate the complexities and inherent challenges of the cyber realm, and this is what cyber security girls’ scouts tends to do. Gender equality is a basic human right and women empowerment is a critical aspect of achieving gender equality. Whether its E-Women Campaign or Cyber Security Girls’ Scouts initiative, COPAIR is involved in setting new rules for women empowerment in Pakistan.

Women’s empowerment and economic development are closely interrelated. While development itself will bring about women’s empowerment, which will bring about changes in decision-making, which will have a direct impact on development. Empowering women has dual benefits, first to the women and second to the society. When we empower a woman, actually we empower a nation. When women have rights of education, skills, knowledge, health and jobs, their hidden potential will be utilized and both males and females will work together for the betterment of the society.

About Dr. Lubna Umar 10 Articles
The author is the Editor of Mélange Intl. Magazine and The Asian Telegraph & Research Associate Center of Pakistan & International Relations (COPAIR).