Women and Skill Development

Women empowerment is one of the biggest tools for development of any country. It means freedom of women from the vicious circle of social, political, economic and gender-based discrimination. Skill development not only creates employment opportunities but also empowers them. A skilled and employed women workforce not only has a generational impact but also has the potential to rewrite the future of the country.

  • Inclusive economic growth: India is one amongst the fastest growing economies of the world and has the second largest labour force. Women constitute 49% of the total population. Skill development of women is decisive to the economic progress of the nation.
  • Demographic dividend: Women in neither in education nor in labour force category is large. According to a 2018 World Bank report, the labour force participation rate among females in India was 26.97 LFPR female in 2018 in India. This must change for India to reap demographic dividend for which skill development is important.
  • Automation: With the advent of technology, digitization and automation, even those women who are employed in low skills and low paying jobs, are likely to lose their place in the workforce. Thus, there is a need to inculcate appropriate skills among women to make them ready to adapt to industrial changes.
  • Gender equality: Skill development helps in providing women with employment opportunities and thus is important for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Economic goals: Equal participation of women in the Indian economy is imperative to achieve our lofty goals of becoming an economic superpower and achieve the target of $5 trillion by 2025.
  • The National Rural Livelihood Missionhas strengthened women’s skills and prepared them for employment.
  • Training for self-employed tailors, beauty therapists, customer care executives, hairstylists, yoga trainers, etc. are being carried out in the Prime Minister Skill Centres.
  • Women playing a significant role in various missions:Very soon, one will get to see women playing significant roles in central government schemes such as the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Swachh Bharat Mission and Smart City Mission. By joining these missions, women will make a huge contribution in giving a new shape to society. In fact, in the creation of a New India, women’s education and skill development are going to be critical.
  • In the last few years, the central government has rolled out various schemes that have emboldened the women of our country and taken them on the path of self-reliance and security.
  • Identification of skill set: We know that every person has a unique skill-set. What is needed is a mechanism to ensure that that skill-set is identified and honed in the best possible way.
  • The government need to ensure that all women in our country from different occupations are trained in their respective skill-sets and are employable.
  • Government need to put to best use their skill-set to become self-employed entrepreneurs and progress.
  • Making progress in non-traditional skills:It is a matter of joy and pride that while women in India are studying electronics, fashion design, technology and business management, there are also those who hone their new-age skills in artificial intelligence, data analytics, 3D printing, etc.
  • Along with traditional skills like beauty, wellness and healthcare, women are also progressing quickly in non-traditional skills such as electronics and hardware.
  • Training policy: There is a need to further develop training policy from a gender perspective, with an understanding of local customs and traditions.
  • Accessibility: Further expand training institutes mainly in the remote regions of the country and to build basic gender specific infrastructure, making ITIs more accessible, particularly for women.
  • Private sector role: Make the private sector also responsible for skill development in the country. By encouraging their contribution in curriculum development, provision of training and internships, and in assessment and the certification of training programmes.
  • Removing societal biases: It is important to identify and making efforts to change basic and nuanced socio-cultural values with a view to eliminate existing biases that women in the country face when seeking employment.
  • Employment opportunities: Provide employment opportunities to trainees after the completion of training to assure sustainable livelihood options.

The efforts of our government have created a milieu of trust in the women of our country. They are confident that the country’s government machinery is standing by them by creating an atmosphere of respect and development for women. Connecting aspirations with skills and empowering women can help them achieve their full potential, thereby also bringing equitable growth in society. In the past few years, our government has made massive advancements in providing education and honing skill-sets. We must pledge to make sure that these efforts reach each and every Indian woman.