UNDP supports the skill development of 80 young women in fields traditionally dominated by men.

February 16, 2024

A cross section of the students at the graduation ceremony

UNDP Sierra Leone/ Janet Dabire

In pursuit  of promoting gender equality, UNDP has supported  the training of 80 young women in traditionally male-dominated trades. The six-month long training  took place at Armed Forces Technical and Vocational Training School in partnership with the National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone. The programme underscores UNDP's dedication to creating equal opportunities and dismantling gender stereotypes.

The young women learned skills such as fabrication, electricals, carpentry, masonry, surveying and more. The training programme was implemented by National Youth Commission, with financial support from  UNDP's core resources at the Armed Forces Technical and Education College (AFTEC).

  This capacity building programme forms part of UNDP’s objective of promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship.

Madam Tanzila Sankoh, Team Lead Sustainable Growth Cluster speaking at the graduation ceremony

UNDP Sierra Leone/ Janet Dabire

Speaking the graduation ceremony on behalf of Resident Representative, Madam Tanzila Sankoh, Team Lead Sustainable Growth Cluster, said the  initiative also contributes directly to Women's economic empowerment which is key in transforming women and girls from limited power, voice, and choice at home and in the economy to having the skills, resources, and opportunities needed to compete equitably in the market.

She called  for more investment into  for women skills development.

She said, “By supporting women's participation in non-traditional job, we are not only creating more opportunities for women, but also enriching the trades with new perspectives and talents.” 

Commissioner Ahmed Atata Mansaray , National Youth Commssion

UNDP Sierra Leone/ Janet Dabire

Commissioner Ahmed Atata Mansaray,  of the National Youth Commission, emphasized the importance of inclusivity and equal opportunity. He praised the graduates for their courage and determination in pursuing paths less traveled by women. 

The graduates were presented with certificates. Each young woman had successfully completed rigorous training in trades such as carpentry, electrical work, and automotive repair, among others. The skills acquired during the programme not only empowered them professionally but also fostered a sense of independence and self-reliance.

Two of the graduates , Nancy Fogbawa and Abibatu Sesay were adjudged the best students and were each presented with a certificate.

Abibatu Sesay, one of the best graduating students receiving her certificate of excellence

UNDP Sierra Leone/ Janet Dabire

The 80 graduates each received a startup kits in their chosen field of training.

The graduation ceremony marked not just the end of the programme but the beginning of a new chapter for these young women, symbolizing a brighter and more inclusive future for generations to come.