ISLAMABAD    -     In collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and development Canada, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Pakistan has planned to launch ‘Gender Project’ to have a comprehensive strategy for improving gender equality.

According to an official, the project has three main objectives which included strengthening national mechanisms to promote equal employment and opportunities for women, enhancing skills and employ ability of women in rural and urban areas and to strengthen the capacity of the media to raise awareness on issues related to working women in both the formal and informal economy.

He said that many other departments will be collaborated  with including provincial departments of labour, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP), Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF), Ministry of Textile Industries, Provincial Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities, media organisations, Women Development Department (Punjab), Higher Education Commission, and civil society organisations throughout Pakistan Donors Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada. He said that to promote equal employment opportunities for women, the project will work with government, workers and employers to improve the understanding of gender issues and would implement policies and programmes to reflect the real needs, priorities and interests of women workers.

He said that the project would enhance the skills and employ ability of poor women in rural and urban areas of selected districts, adding that it will provide training and decent employment for disadvantaged women in selected rural and urban areas.

He said that the training has been designed by using the ILO’s Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) methodology to improve employment and gender equality outcomes.

The media will be trained in ways to promote a more positive image of women at work, and raise public awareness about gender issues at workplace, he stated.

He said that the project will raise employers’ awareness of gender equality practices in the workplace, including ending workplace harassment.

He said that the project will design and organise training for more than 6,300 women and men in employable skills, using ILO TREE methodology adding that training will be given to  local experts to develop industry competency standards including garment manufacturing, the beauty industry and cotton growing.