KARACHI – The five per cent quota of jobs allocated for women in the federal and provincial governments has remained unfulfilled for last many years due to lack of capacity, level of education, required skills and flaws in policies.
This had been disclosed in a report of Women Development Department of Sindh Government, prepared under the banner of “the role of women in the development of Sindh”.
The report highlighted the issues facing women in Sindh such as health, education, finance, social behaviors, environments, poverty, violence against women, victim of tribal conflicts and other related problems that had been discussed with recommendations to higher authorities.
More than 70 per cent of rural women work in agriculture including livestock while more than 75 per cent women in the urban areas work in the nonÂformal sector such as domestic servants and labourers, report said.
The report suggested that there was an urgent need to pay attenÂtion not only to advocacy but to provide input for gender sensitisation of all national level polices, programmes and projects to work closely with all the other ministries and departments. It was necessary to enÂsure the adequate employment opportunities identified and allocated for women.
Elaborating the economic opÂportunities, report said the National Commission for Human Development had planed to create nearly 304,000 jobs from 2005 to 2011 for their programmes which include universal primary education for women. The Commission had proposed the need to work closely with SMEDA, SME Bank, Khushhali Bank, ZTBL, Small industries and organizations to ensure proper allocation of resources and micro credit for women owned operated SMEs in the rural and urban areas.
A comprehensive women employment strategy needs to be prepared and incorporated in Sindh Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme, report recommended and recalled that the last such effort was made by the National Manpower Commission in late 1980s. Many of the recommendations contain in the report of national manpower commission for employment of the women are still valid.
Bringing a change in social attitudes towards women, report says a large scale motivational campaign are required to be launched for educating the general public at large and in particular parents, teachers, children, employers, employees, men and women to take equal part in the process of economic development. The campaigns should aim at changing the traditional attitude of the society towards work of men and women in the social welfare organizations working at the grass root level can play a major role in this respect while tremendous growth in electronic media needs to be tapped for this campaign, report maintained.
Raising the education and skill level education is the basic tool for improvement of the status of women as well as fulfillment of their role as members of the society. It is an important tool for developing of occupational capacity so discrimination of all types of occupations is limited.
Elimination of discriminatory practices, training promotion and hiring and myths against women have to be eliminated, report stressed adding that the malpractices of employers against women workers should be stopped and help of electronic media should be solicited for this purpose.
Improving of working condiÂtion regarding provision of maternity benefits, washrooms and toilets facilities, childcare facilities, protection against health hazards and working hours should be reduced.
Report said that a detailed study should be conducted to identify the problems faced by professionally qualified women. Since a lot of cost has been incurred by the economy on their training it is necessary that steps be taken to resolve their problems so that professionally qualified women reenter their professions without much difficulty.
Income generating projects for women in handicrafts and other home based activity (such as paper bag making, bottling of pickles and jams) that have profitable markets, have to be identified and implemented for women in the formal sector and women have to be trained to take part in them.
Feasibility studies to identify suitable and profitable projects for women must be conducted using experts. SMEDA may be asked to create separate sector for women entrepreneurs.
Support services must be provided to ease employment conditions of domestic servants. Training must be provided to the team of development workers in community development and cooperatives. Further motivational campaigns to encourage women to take part in community development and social welfare activities should be started and implemented on a regular basis over the next 10 to 15 year to help reduce bias against women, the report said.
Source: The Nation