Shimla: In a bid to promote gender equality and modification of behavior by raising awareness of concerns of gender equality, the Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam (HPKVN) organised a workshop on ‘Himachal Pradesh Skill Development Project-Gender Action Plan and way forward’ here today.

The Minister said the contribution of both men and women is important for the development of the society and therefore it is must to maintain the gender equality. He said

“the women of Himachal Pradesh are honest and hardworking who have always played a pivotal role in the development of the state right from the farms to serving the Indian army. Keeping in view their contribution in different spheres, we should be sensitive to their rights so that they could enjoy equal freedom, opportunities and resources like men to excel in their lives”

Reiterating the state government commitment for women empowerment, Bikram Singh said that the government has started various schemes and programmes. He further stated

“They are also being given priority under various activities under H.P. Skill Development Corporation so that they could become self-reliant”

The Minister said the gender disparity is a socio-economic issue and the degree of gender disparity varies across castes, economic classes, religions and even across geographical boundaries. He said the economic freedom emancipates from earning capacity which is closely linked to skill development and employability. Unless economic freedom is achieved, it is difficult to achieve gender equity.

He stressed the need to skilling the youth with gender balance ensure safety and security of women in skilling centres for ensuing their larger participation. He advised to focus on more gender centric skill development programmes.

Bikram Singh said that skill development programmes like Graduate-add on and B-Voc are being implemented by HPKVN which will certainly help in reducing gender imbalance in the skill eco-system.

Managing Director, HPKVN Rohan Chand Thakur emphasised the need to break stereotypes and project positive portrayal. He said research has shown that gender role development is socially constructed and learned from birth.

Head of the department of Economics, HP University Dr. Aparna Negi in her presentation said that the impact of child care and the interactions that take place there are examined, with a focus on gender behavior and stereotypes.’

Interactive sessions and panel discussion on ‘bridging the gender gap between skilling and employment of youth in HP’ were also the part of the event.

State Coordinator, HPKVN Naveen Sharma, representative from Asian Development Bank Deepa Ahluwalia, Associate Director, PWC Sujata Mullick, representatives from departments of technical education, higher education, rural development, urban development and training service providers were also present at the event.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.