In Pakistan, as in other developing countries, rural women make ample contributions to the economy through vital productive and reproductive roles. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of women’s traditional economic activities that supplement their household economy directly through earning income and indirectly through savings expenditure and to assess the factors that influence their productivity performance. For this purpose, six rural areas from Khyber, which is located in the Pukhtoonkhwah province, were chosen to represent the south, north, and the central plain regions. About 480 women responded out of 600, which were selected using a snowball sampling technique from the entire three regions. The data was collected by conducting face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs). About 68.33% respondents were illiterate, 47.71% were 31 to 40 years old, and 47.92% lived in a joint family system. Due to the strict Purdah (veil) culture, about 71.88% of the women’s economic activities were confined indoors, such as stitching; embroidery; basket and candle making; preparing pickles, jams, and squash; dairy products; apiculture; sericulture; livestock; poultry; nursery raising; and some agriculture-related off-farm activities. It was reported that the major decisions in the household are made by the male members due to the strong patriarchal norms and values. Development projects by the NGOs and the government have played a significant role to provide credit, training, and awareness that has arisen specifically in the north and the south regions. All of the women were aware of the positive effects of economic independence, but some of them also revealed the negative effects on their physical and psychological health as well as the social ties within the households and communities due to the extensive workload and time issues. The study concluded that many demographic social, cultural, religious, and economic factors negatively influence the women’s productive potential.
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