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The News

Published Date: Jan 19, 2011

Females? access to non-traditional jobs stressed

Islamabad: Highlighting the gaps in the skill development opportunities and employability, the speakers on Tuesday stressed upon the need for enhancing the skill development coverage and employment opportunities, removing the social and cultural constraints towards female access and adoption of non-traditional professions in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The seminar on ‘Assessment of Gender Disparities in Skills Development Opportunities’ was jointly organised here by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and International Labor Organization (ILO).

Muhammad Azhar, Research Associate, SDPI, presented the preliminary findings of the study. He said that physical accessibility cost of training and limited skills development opportunities to females are the major obstacles toward gender equality in technical and vocational education.

“Only 46 industry-led institutes are imparting Technical and Vocational Training as against 218 male institutes. Within the technical education, there is only seven per cent enrolment of females as against 93 per cent males,” he said.

Consultative meeting participants suggested that the provincial and federal government should immediately allocate more funds for provision of technical education at gross-roots level.

Salma Masood Khan, International consultant on Gender issues, suggested that the ‘Hujras’ should be utilised for sensitisation of the males regarding females’ trainings and employment. Furthermore, skills need assessment, career counselling, employment bureau and development of local employee and employer data banks should be prioritised. Another suggestion was to link national and provincial micro-finance programmes with technical education for raising capital for establishment of micro enterprises.

Gulbaz Ali Khan, Senior Research Associate, concluded with the note that 100 million youth should be imparted technical skills to enhance employability and productivity. He also suggested that middle class erosion in the country impacting economic growth may be tackled through the technical education.