OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - The women who constitute half of countrys population, have only 21 per cent share in the labour force, and even less in remote provinces, compared to men who dominate the work force with 70 per cent participation rate. This was revealed at a discussion with media on the issue of promoting gender equality in the world of work organised jointly by International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Zaigham Khan and Adnan Rehmat conducted the proceedings, as working journalists from different media organizations took part in the discussion. The participants recognized gender equality in the world of work a fundamental human right, ciritical to social justice and instrumental in achieving poverty alleviation and social and economic development goals. They noted that women face significant challenges finding work in decent working conditions. A representative of ILO informed that vulnerable employment for women increased by 11.9 per cent between 1999 and 2007, which, she said, was quite alarming. It also surfaced during the discussion that cultural and infrastructural constraints on mobility and working outside the home, limit the opportunities women have regarding productive employment. One of the participants, however, pointed out that Pakistani women have greater access to equal employment opportunities and decent working conditions in selected economic sectors; and stakeholders have increased understanding of and favorable attitudes towards working womens issues. Talking about ILOs initiative for promoting gender equality for decent employment, Zaigham Khan said that the project will focus on textiles sector, with emphasis on clothing and home textiles and the services sector. He said interventions will include assistance to promote gender sensitive policy development and implementation at all government levels, skills development to enhance the employability and empowerment of women; and work with the media to increase awareness and gender sensitive reporting of issues of gender equality in the world of work. He said that through this project effort will be made to inform and sensitize stakeholders on issues of gender equality and employment, the existing constraints in the policy and legal framework, and increase their technical knowledge and skills to address them. He further told that besides enhancing skills and employability of poor women in rural and urban areas of selected districts, a targeted 6,300 poor women and men, from urban and rural areas of Pakistan, will be trained in employable skills. Zaigham said a plan has also been chalked out to strengthen capacity of media to raise awareness on issues related to working women. Activities under this objective will build the capacity of media and communication specialists on gender sensitive communication, national policy frameworks on gender equality and international labour standards, he concluded.