Pakistan: Mera Hunar Mera Fakhar – My Skill My Pride!

Promoting gender equality:
Pakistan has more than 2.2 million population with the 60% youth across the country. We as the national of Pakistan face numerous challenges while being in the cluster of youth population specially when we speak about women with respect to gender equality, access to education and resources and conducive environment to feel secure and perform as per the mark.
As we go along mitigating these challenges, a marginalized or physically impaired woman in my country has the go through many trance and obstacle to meet the basics of the society’s and systems expectations, without considering the fact that hardly any resources on the systematic level are provided to us.
With this bearing in mind, Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) Sector Support Programme (SSP) of GIZ-Pakistan provided an unprecedented avenue to the women students of the ‘NOWPDP’ through its intervention of workplace-based training. These women students who were victim of their destiny, having no hope to stand in a society where there are many challenges rather any support from government, society, or other institutions, the TVET SSP of GIZ Pakistan supported the NOWPDP training institute to specially provide chance to physically impaired women so that they learn a skill and live with pride in the society.
The workplace-based training under the competency-based training (CBT) approach promotes an active partnership between training providers and business associations to link training closely to the requirements of employers. As these trainings involve enterprises in selecting relevant qualifications, planning and delivering training, and conducting assessments, it is being ensured that the training directly leads to the employment of graduates.
This training collaboration between TVET SSP and NOWPDP enabled the enrollment of more than 100 physically challenged trainees out of which more than 40% were female. The institute with the technical and financial assistance of TVET SSP provided the technical training to these students in the occupation like beauty services, office and customer services management, design and stitching, IT and computing. All these female students after their theoretical training at the institute went through on-the-job training and the ratio of internship among these women trainees was 100%.
As-many-as 32 physically challenged women trainees have already received employment opportunities in various national and multinational enterprises like Unilever, Siemens, KFC, Abu Dawood, etcetera.

Gender as quality feature of work:
The major donors of our Programme are European Union, BMZ and Norway. The commissioning parties clearly sets the objectives of providing opportunities to the youth with special attention to women considering this social group as underprivileged. Our work here in Pakistan in the TVET Sector advocates for the gender mainstreaming in all the functions like governance, involvement in policy, design and delivery of training and access to training and employability. The main counterparts not only acknowledge the advocacy measures but also incorporate all these ideas and interventions among their work features. The training delivery partners like NOWPDP make the women inclusion ascertain into the training initiatives which lead towards the employment of training graduates.

Gender and result-based monitoring:
The description of action (DoA) of Programme which is the reference document for complete project description with the details on indicators and its definitions clearly speaks about the disaggregates on gender and employment. Programme is designed in a way that the completion of milestones and achievement of targets leads towards designing of courses of female, providing conducive training environment to women, increasing access to training and improving employment opportunity with the aspect of career counselling and job placement. The programme has the clear indicator of inclusion of minimum 30% women on the governing board and steering committees, training of 30% women as TVET trainee, teacher, TVET manager and/ or assessor. Employment of 70% out of 30% women is also a key indicator of programme which clearly shows the embedded mechanism of monitoring as well as evaluation.

The steering structure among the counterparts (business and industry associations, chambers of commerce, government, media) and donor coordination platforms (international agencies, embassy representatives and civil society) were the kick-off platforms where all the stakeholders through dialogue on gender mainstreaming and supporting to the underprivileged social groups came to consensus that special attention shall be provided to women technical training and guiding them for employment and entrepreneurial activities. This consensus was mainly based upon the contextual and socio-economical fact that women population in Pakistan is half-and-half to the total population and the investment made on the education and training of women can not only
improve the domestic environment of a family but also can add value to the country’s economic aspects. Adding to this fact, the agreement was visible that special attention shall also be paid to the physically challenged social group so that they can also add value to the overall system besides bearing their own financial and social responsibility.
The major success factors achieved through this intervention are the avenues which are provided to physically challenged women trainees and now different stakeholders are taking interest into this approach. After, TVET SSP of GIZ Pakistan has introduced this intervention, government of Pakistan recently in its National Skills for All Strategy have indicated to pay special focus women inclusion and training of disable women youth. Moreover, disable female youth now consider this as an opportunity for themselves to get access to the mainstream training environment and gain employment, just like normal citizen of Pakistan.
As a Programme, TVET SSP has limited resources in terms of time and money. Government’s seriousness towards this matter is a major challenge as such interventions require resource allocation. Advocating training and employment of physically impaired women and their acceptance in private sector arena is still a struggle to get more and more graduates into the employment. Considering Pakistan, a developing country, the society still needs a lot of awareness on such interventions to create more acceptance for such social groups. Such has remained the challenges while implementing this training initiative.
Aliya Fatima with Visual Disability is employed as call center agent in Karachi Electric, Zainab with a physical disability as Receptionist in Siemens and Sahiba Rani who is self-employed are a few examples which are not just examples but success stories now for many future trainees to come in the mainstreaming technical and vocational education and training arena and win the position for themselves in the society which they deserve.