Policy dialogue reinforces shared vision for inclusion and gender-equality in TVET and skills development systems in Bangladesh

The Government of Canada funded ILO’s ProGRESS project organised a policy dialogue on ‘Achieving inclusion and gender equality in TVET and skills system for women’s economic empowerment’ on 30 August 2023.

News | 30 August 2023
Dhaka (ILO news) - The policy dialogue aims to establish a shared vision for inclusive and gender equal TVET and skills systems in Bangladesh. It involves discussions on the ILO's global approach to Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) in the context of the country's TVET and skills sector. The dialogue also seeks to evaluate progress, identify challenges, and pinpoint solutions for system improvement. Through collaborative efforts, the goal is to prioritize and implement actionable recommendations, advancing gender-responsive skills and TVET system development for the empowerment of women and the promotion of social justice.

This dialogue witnessed active participation of some 30 individuals representing various government agencies, development partners, non-governmental organizations, disability inclusion advocacy groups, civil societies, and UN agencies vested in the realm of TVET and skills development.
ILO Country Director, EC NSDA and DG DTE speaking at the event. © ILO

Nasreen Afroz, Executive Chairperson (Secretary), National Skills Development Authority, Bangladesh graced the event as the Chief Guest. She said, "The commitment to advancing Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) in formal TVET and non-formal skills development signifies a pivotal recognition by the government. As the apex skills body, NSDA pledges to bridge these gaps, championing targeted measures and fostering a skills development system that stands firmly for gender equality and social inclusion."

Christine Hofmann, Team Lead for Skills for Social Inclusion at ILO Geneva, facilitated the dialogue, bringing to the table an international perspective enriched with commendable practices from around the world.
Development partners and government representatives speaking at the event. © ILO

Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director for ILO Bangladesh said "Bangladesh's journey towards women's empowerment is a testament to progress, yet challenges persist. The empowerment strides in politics, education, and healthcare are commendable, but the quest for economic and social empowerment demands a steadfast commitment to creating opportunities for all women, especially the young and disadvantaged. In the face of hurdles, let our collective efforts pave the way for an enabling and safe environment for young and disadvantaged women to access education, training and decent employment."

Key recommendations came from the dialogue are -

  • Appropriate costing for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and budgeting;
  • Gender transformative approach in TVET and skills development;
  • Massive campaign for enrolment and employment by showcasing the role model;
  • Formalization of Informal apprenticeships which is vital towards women’s access to the world of work;
  • Linkages between TVET institutes and Organization for Persons with Disabilities;
  • Address gender-based violence particularly violence and harassment in TVET institutes and workplace;
  • Inclusive curriculum for teachers’ training to achieve inclusion in TVET delivery.
The dialogue was chaired by Md. Mohsin, Director General, Directorate of Technical Education. Mr Mohsin said, “These recommendations are useful for us to craft targeted interventions that not only bridge these gaps but propel us towards a future where women’s economic empowerment knows no boundaries”.
These recommendations, borne out of collaborative discourse, stand as instrumental directives in improving and strengthening the skills and TVET policy frameworks in Bangladesh. Their implementation is poised to serve as a catalyst in driving gender equality, social inclusion and advancing the economic empowerment of women in the country.

ProGRESS project is a joint initiative of the Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization, funded by the Government of Canada. The partnership will strengthen TVET and enterprise development systems, to make these more inclusive and accessible for women by working on policies, systems and operational levels. ProGRESS stands for ‘Promoting Gender Responsive Enterprise Development and TVET Systems’.