Launch of national strategy for gender equality in skills

In December 2014, the Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project supported the National Skills Development Council (NSDC) to launch the National Strategy for Promoting Gender Equality in TVET. The launch took the format of a workshop that focused on seeking practical recommendations to reinforce gender equality in skills institutions and industries.

News | 25 August 2015
Women’s participation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Bangladesh is strikingly low, ranging from 9% to 13% in public institutions and 33% in private institutions according to the National Skills Development Policy (2011).

In 2012, the ILO supported the NSDC to formulate the National Strategy for Promotion of Gender Equality in TVET to promote social inclusion and increase female participation in skills and employment. The Honourable Prime Minister and Chairperson, NSDC approved the strategy in 2014. In line with the National Skills Development Policy, the National Gender Strategy reflects the government’s commitment to eliminate inequality at all levels in skills and employment.

Suggestions from stakeholders during the launch workshop centred around ways to ensure sector wise gender and vulnerability disaggregated skills and employment data; increasing female enrolment rates; changing mind sets about non-traditional occupations for women, making TVET institutions gender responsive and gender competent at all levels and promoting gender inclusion in employment, particularly in non-traditional occupations. Key government ministries and departments running their own TVET institutions or offering skills and enterprise development programmes were also identified.

Equal access to skills and employment is being promoted by the government as part of a series of reforms to Bangladesh’s current skills development system. The objective of reform is to make skills in Bangladesh nationally recognised, accessible to all, high quality and directly linked to jobs.
The B-SEP Project is now in the process of organizing an initial follow up workshop with the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to ensure integration of the strategy in their annual plan, budget, and monitoring system as well as in their training institutions. Individual workshops will also be held to mainstream gender equality into the planning, budgeting and monitoring of the Department of Youth and Department of Social Welfare.

The ILO is currently working with the Government of Bangladesh to reform the skills development system through two major initiatives; a CAD19.5 million grant from Canada for the Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project, and a Euro 14 million grant from the European Union for the TVET Reform in Bangladesh Project.

See the National Skills Development Policy (English/Bangla) here