Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: November 01, 2022

Closing the Gender Gap Opens New Doors

Caste, class and gender—more than anything else—contribute to a lack of opportunity among India’s working-age population. Through the Don Bosco Job Placement Network, underserved young adults, nearly half of which are women, recieve the training and support they need to find sustainable, livable-wage employment.

The Don Bosco Job Placement Network, and the services it provides, are critical in India—where 44 percent of the job-seeking population is illiterate. On top of that, marginalized youth are regularly denied access to the educational, employment and training opportunities they deserve. Consequently, 30 percent of the country’s 1.34 billion people lack the skills and resources they need to participate in the formal labor market. Even though India’s economy is the fourth-largest in the world, this means that millions of people are trapped in multi-dimensional poverty.

For females especially, these challenges are particularly acute.

“Around the world, women often have more difficulty finding employment when compared to men,” says Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “They tend to have low-quality jobs in vulnerable conditions. They are less likely to work in a formal job environment and have fewer opportunities for business expansion or career progression. And, when women do work, they earn less.”

Not surprising, the global pandemic further widened these gender-based employment gaps, which affect women in India to an even greater degree than elsewhere in the world. According to a study from the International Labour Organization, the current labor force participation rate for women is just under 47 percent globally, compared to 72 percent for men. In India, those numbers are 19.2 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

“Education is the key to equality,” Fr. Gus continues. “This is why Salesian missionaries in India strive to empower young women and girls by providing opportunities for education, training and workforce development programs that lead to livable-wage employment. The Don Bosco Job Placement Network is an excellent example of this.”

Headquartered in Delhi with regional centers throughout the country, this network focuses on improving the livelihoods of underserved job-seekers through career guidance and skills training. The staff intentionally builds strong, lasting relationships with employers and recruiters, which facilitates access to quality opportunities with adequate wages and decent working conditions. When hired, these young adults receive continuous support from the network so that they may remain successfully employed and advance in their careers.

“Looking back at our initiatives from the past year, we are proud to say that 47 percent of the onboarded job seekers are women between the ages of 18-30,” says one of our missionaries at the Don Bosco Job Placement Network. “These women are mostly from rural or semi-urban communities, where they often face social challenges. Our training and continuous assistance have made it possible for them to participate in the labor force with confidence.”

Learn more about our work in India.

Our mission provides training and career services for underserved job-seekers around the world. This is empowering thousands of young women and girls. What’s your mission?

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