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Federal Minister for Professional Training and Education Shafqat Mehmood on Friday stressed on the significance of women participation in the TVET sector as a critical factor for economic development of the country. The National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) has conducted three research studies for the purpose of promoting women's full and effective participation at all levels especially in skill sector, and providing maximum opportunities for employment to bring them in the mainstream economy.

The minister inaugurated the launching ceremony of three research studies - "Participatory gender assessment of the NAVTTC and provincial TEVTAs," "Organisational assessment of women TVET institutions" and "Analysis of job market opportunities for women in Sindh and Balochistan" here on Friday.

Member National Assembly Andleeb Abbas, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Wajiha Akrma, Ambassador of European Union Jean Francois, Chairman NAVTTC Syed Javed Hassan, Executive Director NAVTTC Dr Nasir Khan, and representatives from public and private sector were present on the occasion.

"Women can play an integral role through their keen social and economic understanding and involvement for a prosper growth of self, household and community," said the minister.

He commended the NAVTTC for conducting gender assessment research studies and expressed hope to learn through its analysis and recommendations about the elements crucial for more participation of women in the workforce.

"Our women are very intelligent and hardworking; around 80 percent of the top position holders in almost every field of education are females and it is our responsibility to add them to the workforce after completion of their studies," he added.

"We also need to analyse the social and cultural factors and determine what can be done to bring women in the mainstream economy," he said.

Creation of conducive work environment, establishment of day care centres, provision of transportation facilities from home to work place, provision of safe residence to females away from their homes for work, effective anti-harassment laws and such other incentives as maternity leave policy are some of the factors that can contribute to better employment of females, the minister said.

MNA Andleeb Abbas appreciated the findings of the study and termed them a step in the right direction for providing a way forward to the NAVTTC to work for gender equity within their structure and to perform its role as the apex TVET body and implement recommendations in the light of the findings in provinces.

"Skill building and training are very important and these studies will help us understand the areas in which we are lacking in addressing the gender gap in various fields," she said.

Technical education and vocational training can provide a pathway to country's women to play their economic role by promoting domestic entrepreneurial activities. Chairman NAVTTC Syed Javed Hassan endorsed the recommendations of the study and ensured that the NAVTTC will take lead in implementation of recommendations of the study.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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