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Vocational training opportunities target women in Arakan State
“Women opt to work overseas because there are very few job opportunities here,” said training officer Daw Htwe Htwe Yi of the Arakan State Social Welfare Department.
28 Jul 2023
28 July 2023, Sittwe
Private organisations are providing vocational training for women in several Arakan State townships.
Among the vocational courses on offer are bag-making, embroidery, shirt and cap printing, computer-aided embroidery and fashion design, ikebana, making handicrafts, candles and organic soaps, and culinary skills.
“Women opt to work overseas because there are very few job opportunities here,” said training officer Daw Htwe Htwe Yi of the Arakan State Social Welfare Department. “Once they learn these skills, they can either do their own business or get employed. So, I would like to urge women to attend those vocational training sessions.”
Training fees range from 4,000 kyats to 15,000 kyats, depending on the type of training.
“If you can’t afford the training fees, there are many training courses provided for free,” said Ma Myint Myint Sein from Sittwe’s Pyitawthar Ward, who is attending one such vocational training session. “You only need to give your time, and it will bring great benefit for you. These days, organisations provide sewing machines for those who can’t afford to buy them. So, it is very convenient.”
Poverty and a paucity of job opportunities have been prompting many Arakanese men and women in their 20s and 30s to leave the state for work overseas.
Providers of vocational trainings say women will be able to play a greater role in the regional economy if they have learnt vocational skills, and they are less likely to leave Arakan State in favour of opportunities abroad if they have an income.
“You can’t just sit and do nothing just because there are few job opportunities. You must be able to set up your own businesses. So, women need to attend vocational training. Nothing will happen if they just sit and do nothing,” said Ma Kyu Kyu Hmwe from the Yadanar Pyo Me Women’s Development Cooperatives in Sittwe.
Married women should also learn vocational skills so that they can help support their families, said Daw Mya Aye Thein from Thae Chaung Village in Sittwe Township, who is attending a training course at Yadanar Pyo Me.
“You can work in your own region if you have vocational skills. You can live with your family, and don’t need to work away from your family,” she said.
Over 23,000 passports were issued in Arakan State last year, a record high for recent years, according to an organisation helping potential migrant workers.