WOMEN’S SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, A country can only progress when its women are empowered. The female workforce rate (WPR) in India is almost half of the male workforce rate. While in the North- East the female WPR is more, in certain states like UP, Haryana, and Punjab the female WPR is worrisome. According to a study, India could boost its GDP by trillions of dollars by 2025 if the female WPR was improved. Gender discrimination, societal stereotypes and barriers, and gender inequalities have barred a lot of women from attaining proper education or training in the past. Though similar practices are still carried out in certain areas, the Government is trying to work towards women empowerment in its own ways by launching Women and Child Development Programs like ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, ‘Rashtriya Mahila Kosh’ and Women Skill Development Programs like STEP or Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women.
Economic independence is very important for women empowerment. They must be partners in economic development too. – Narendra Modi
Skills are the bridge between jobs and the workforce. A majority of womenfolk are unskilled in India. Hence, Skill Development is necessary to make them self-sufficient and financially independent.
Under The National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015, hundreds of women it is have been built which provide vocational training to lakhs of women annually. The two main focus points of the policy were:
- Improving access to skill development by creating more seats for women.
- Gender mainstreaming of content and delivery of training.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Kaushalya Vikas Yojana (DDU KVY) is a vocational training and placement program by the Ministry of Rural Development. This scheme has a special focus on women like ensuring 1/3rd seats to women, training women trainers and assigning women managers, helping women adapt to new environments after placement, and so on.
Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women or STEP provides training to marginalized and poor women. It is under the Central Sector Scheme. A few key sectors under this scheme in which training is conducted are Agriculture, Handlooms, Handicraft, Gems and Jewelry, Hospitality, etc.
Including more women in the workforce by training them in skills will only add to India’s advantage and help it rise the economic ladder. Hence, spreading awareness and changing old mindsets could be the first step towards the cause so that more and more women from remote areas join these training programs without any hesitation and are able to build their lives with confidence.