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On the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF calls on improving employability skills

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – 11 October 2018: On International Day of the Girl, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) calls on improving girls’ access to education and employment in Pakistan and worldwide.

Today's generation of girls is preparing to enter a world that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people in the world – most of them female – are neither employed nor in education or training.

Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90 per cent of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector - jobs that are not regulated or protected – where low or no pay, abuse, and exploitation are common. The most disadvantaged girls, including those in rural areas and those with disabilities, have even less access to decent work. 

Right now, many girls are not developing the skills they will later need to secure work. In Pakistan, nearly 23 million children are out of school, the majority of the girls. Girls tend to face specific limitations on their ability to make decisions affecting their education and work.

Girls need to be taught the transferable skills – such as self-confidence, problem-solving, teamwork and critical thinking – which are critical to succeed in the rapidly changing world. Helping them develop the skills for employability they need to enter the workforce and access decent work opportunities will help reap long-term economic benefits and defeat the cycle of poverty.

Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, International Day of the Girl marks the beginning of a year-long effort to highlight, advocate for and invest in girls to develop skills and enter the workforce. To that end, the global community must:
  • Rapidly expand access to inclusive education and training.
  • Improve the quality and gender-responsiveness of teaching and learning to enable girls to develop foundational, transferable and job-specific skills for life and work.
  • Create inclusive and accessible schools, training and learning opportunities to empower girls with disabilities.
  • Change gender stereotypes, social norms, and unconscious bias to provide girls with the same learning and career opportunities as boys.
  • Increase girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.
  • Create initiatives to support girls’ school-to-work transition, such as career guidance, apprenticeships, internships, and entrepreneurship.
  • Deliver large-scale public and private sector programming for girls’ skills and market-adapted training.
  • Enable access to finance and enterprise development for female entrepreneurs.
  • Form strategic partnerships with governments and private companies which can act as thought leaders and financiers, helping to train girls and bring them into the workforce.
On International Day of the Girl, let’s stand with girls – the future freelancers, entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, and software engineers which Pakistan needs – to develop skills now and remove other gender barriers she faces so that she and every girl can join A Skilled GirlForce.

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For more information, please contact:
Catherine Weibel, Chief, Advocacy and Communications, UNICEF Pakistan Country Office, Phone: (92) 51 209 7810, Mobile: (92) 300 500 2595, E-Mail: cweibel@unicef.org 
Adresh Laghari, Communication Officer, UNICEF Pakistan Country Office, Phone: (92) 51 209 7812, Mobile: (92) 300 855 4392, E-Mail: alaghari@unicef.org

About the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. Follow our work in Pakistan on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

 
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