Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) - ILO and Unicef have called on the government, development partners, civil society organisations and the private sector to accelerate efforts to empower girls.
They came up with the call in a joint statement to mark International Day of the Girl 2018 on Wednesday.
International Day of the Girl Child 2018 will be observed on October 11 with a theme ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’.
They also called for improving accessibility and preparing them with the 21st century skills and provide them the space to pursue their careers needed for lifelong success.
“To support a skilled girl force, we must go beyond providing access and completion of school. We must make efforts to advocate for, draw attention to and invest in the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability,” said the statement.
In Bangladesh, almost 40 percent of secondary-school age children are out-of-school, and vulnerable to child marriage and child labour.
The last Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics survey on Child Labour estimated that 745,690 girls from 5 to 17 years old are engaged in child labour and 1.2 million working girls are engaged in non-formal sectors in the country.
The dropout rate in secondary education for girls is 41.52 percent, which for boys is 33.43 percent.
The government of Bangladesh has developed a National Skills Development Policy (NSDP), with the provision of increasing girls’ enrolment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), however the take up is low, said Unicef.
In 2016, girls made up less than 25 percent of total enrolled students, despite the increase in number of TVET institutes from 1,137 in 2000 to 5,897 in 2016.
ILO and Unicef in Bangladesh are working with the government and partners to expand the existing learning opportunities to prepare the girls for a successful transition into the world of work.
Unicef is supporting an Alternative Learning Program (ALP) through informal apprenticeship which is helping out-of-school adolescent girls in acquiring technical and transferable skills and linking them with employment and further education.
Besides, ILO is working on placing girls in non-traditional occupations, such as carpentry, tour guiding, electric appliances and mobile phone repair, which is helping challenge workplace gender stereotyping.
These alternative learning pathways are providing a second chance to girls for future employability.