Pushing boundaries

Fifteen years ago I was working for a nongovernment organization (NGO) in Bangladesh documenting stories of training and economic empowerment of communities. For this I visited many communities near the capital, Dhaka. A common recurring theme in virtually all the communities was the gender stereotyping in skills training programs. Males received training in vehicle repair, small engine repair, construction, raising cattle and farm animals. Females were trained in sewing, dress making, raising small poultry, and vegetable gardening.

Men were happy with the training, happy with the jobs they secured after training and most important, the higher incomes they now enjoyed. The skills and trades they had acquired were in demand in the local labour market. In contrast, women told me their earnings after training were marginal. Dress making, poultry raising and vegetable gardening were not particularly lucrative occupations. — blogs.adb.org/blog