Melinda Mathers, Pacific Community's Technical Vocational Education and Training Coordinator, Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division.
Over time countries are investing in national socio-economic development through Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which directly impacts livelihoods, cultures and the environment.
TVET plays a role in building a competitive and socially inclusive workforce regardless of gender. Opportunities for women through a “demand-driven”, high quality technical vocational education relevant to all sectors of the economy are emerging.
Women are now found and excel in the fields of engineering, astronomy, carpentry and even in firefighting and resilience-related occupations which were traditionally held by men. As a woman engaged in a TVET-related project I promote working effectively in cross-cultural environment, foster the spirit of dialogue, sharing and collaboration. These are the tools and skills that empower me to “break the bias” in a usually male-dominated environment particularly in societies that are patriarchal culturally.
The power of women in motivating other women to pursue technical education consistently promotes equal opportunities across all sectors. Capacity development through TVET qualifications is a process of empowerment which provides knowledge and skills for employment. It propels the economics of the families and nations. I have seen people’s lives changed from unemployment and poverty to taking the high roads of TVET, employability and living a humane and dignified life.
TVET indeed is occupational in nature and we as women can be prime movers in changing lives through TVET.
Melinda is the Coordinator of Technical Vocational Education and Training for SPC’s Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division.