Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought the support of the Second Chance Education Programme of UN Women to help them complete their education and re-skilling them to suit the job market.
He discussed the issue during his interaction with the country representative of UN Women Ms Susan Jane Ferguson who called on him here on Tuesday.
During the discussion, Chief Minister Shri Patnaik said that the State Government has an objective to ensure that at least one-third of the graduates from technical education would be girls.
He added that the participation of women in technical education and further employment in industries is a priority area of the government. He cited the example of schemes like Sudakshya which has helped to increase enrolment of girls in it from 6 per cent five years ago to 18 per cent recently.
He said the UN Women can lead the efforts for ensuring facilities like quality accommodation and crèches.
He also spoke about the iconic projects like the World Skill Centre that promotes global standard skills in the state and hoped that the UN Women would partner with such institutions to ensure gender parity and women participation in such projects.
Ms Ferguson, during the discussion, appreciated the State Government’s initiatives in women empowerment. She spoke on the effective role played by Mission Shakti in empowering Odisha women.
Earlier during the day, Ms Ferguson called on Subroto Bagchi, Chairman Odisha Skill Development Authority and discussed perspectives and several initiatives for skill development from a gender perspective.
UN Women will support the development of a girls football team in Government I.T.I Balasore, Berhampur and Rourkela, basketball, volleyball courts in Gopabandhu ITI, Ambaguda, Koraput & Government ITI, Bolangir.
It will also support the World Skill Centre, Bhubaneswar for mainstreaming gender in terms of policies, courses & placement of women. UN Women’s Second Chance Education Programme has been implemented in the Government it is and Polytechnics of Mayurbhanj, Rayagada and Dhenkanal districts.
OSDA has an MoU with UN Women for cooperation across a number of initiatives including training in digital marketing and entrepreneurship to facilitate linkage to e-commerce platforms by WSHG from 10 districts.
Ms Ferguson said UN Women would like to be a strong partner in the efforts of the state, particularly through the Second Chance Education and Vocational Learning ( SCE). Bagchi emphasized breaking free from gender stereotypes and encouraged more young women to come into skills and professions.
He shared his thoughts on digital skills but cautioned that it must be accompanied by high-quality teacher training, content, universal access to devices and the Right to the Internet.