Education is a key to liberation and an important tool to alleviate socio-economic problems. Women face numerous constraints to access education and training at all levels. The problems include the unfriendly pedagogy especially in the teaching of mathematics, technical and science subjects, which require competitiveness and some degree of assertiveness which girls often lack. Truancy, pregnancy, economic hardships and early marriages constrain girls from completing their schooling. Existing social attitudes favour and promote boys’ education and pay less interest in the education of girls.
The Government committed to increase women access to education in order to narrow the gap between boys and girls in primary and secondary schools. For example while the enrolment of girls in primary schools is 50 percent, in secondary schools girls are 46 percent of the total enrolment. Less and less girls are enrolled in higher learning institutions (at the university girls are 17 percent of the total enrolment).
One of the major constraints facing women in gainful employment is low education inadequate economically productive skills. The focus of the Government has been to increase women enrolment into vocational, tertiary and higher education. The Government also restructured education and training at this level so that it relates to employment creation. Several actions has been taken by the Government as follows:
- Establishment of girls’ vocational, training centres and technical secondary schools.
- Increase of female trainers in vocational and technical schools.
- Carry out-skills and labour market survey.
- Identify and remove gender stereotyping in textbooks and in other learning materials.
- Train instructors to be gender sensitive.
- Sensitise parents to encourage and facilitate girls to join technical institutions
- Expose aspiring girls to successful professional women role models and study tours.
- Introduction of courses and training in skills potentially for providing gainful employment to women.
- Increase boarding facilities for girls.
- Reform of curriculum to include a wider range of skills, technical enterprenurship skills and cross cutting issues.
- Adoption of target oriented curricula with special focus on women and girls.
- Introduction of short courses, open collages at flexible hours and location so as to meet the employment promotion demands of women who have time constraints.
- Establishment of training nurseries and or workshops so as to offer apprenticeship facilities for women.
- Establishment of training fund for women to increase their managerial and decision making capabilities.
It is a fact that girls and women including those who complete schooling and training do not get equal access to employment opportunities. Constraints facing women in employment include lack of child care facilities both day care and nursery schools. Specific health and industrial safety provisions tailored to the realisation of the women’s practical gender needs. To alleviate these problems, the Government intends to:
- Improve and monitor sanitation facilities in working places with a gender perspective.
- Facilitate and support establishment of Day Care Centres for working mothers.
- Induce private sector employers to allow breast-feeding breaks.
- Intensify the sensitisation of employers on women development issues.
- Intensify women’s education in informal sector on relevant governing rules and regulations.
- Enforce safety regulations at places of work for both men and women.
- Review the current rules and regulations, which are unfavourable to women in the informal sector.
- Review Labour law and other related laws
- Research on patterns and characteristics of women employment both in the formal and informal sectors as well as dissemination of gender disagregated data in employment.
- Educate the civil servants on the schemes of service, rules and regulations; improvement of job opportunities.