Mystery of the higher female unemployment rate

Member of Parliament (MP) of Doga-Shaba, Kezang Wangmo, raised questions on higher female unemployment rate as per the Labour Survey Report 2013 during the question-hour session of National Assembly held yesterday. The study found female unemployment rate was higher at 3.7 percent compared to the male unemployment rate of 2.2 percent.

She asked the Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) Minister if the ministry has looked into the issue, and asked about the programs and plans to solve such a discrepancy in the unemployment rate.

The Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) Minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, said that there are no specific programs and plans for male and female, as such, being implemented by the ministry. However, he pointed out, “We have respect for female and focus more on them when we make plans and programs.”

Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said that according to the Constitution of Bhutan, Article 7, Section 8, states, “A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to equal access and opportunity to join the Public Service.”

Therefore, he said there should be no discrimination in case of employment and equal opportunity for all the people in the country.

He added that the female unemployment rate in 2013 was 3.7 percent, which decreased by 0.2 percent in 2014 at 3.5 percent.

He said that even if the female unemployment rate is higher as compared to male, it has decreased 2014. The total of 2395 females were employed in 2013 and 2182 females were employed in 2014.

He said that ministry has initiated a new program, Guaranteed Employment Program (GEP), under which 1764 youth have been employed, of which 929 were females and 835 were males.

He added that 727 employees, 283 males and 489 females, were sent on overseas employment program. He further added that there are many females employed in many program under the ministry.

MP of Dophoogchen- Tading, Tek Bahadur Subba, said for clarification from MoLHR Minister on the number of youth sent overseas. He said if the figure was 727 or 170 pointed out by a MP.

Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said 170 is not a correct figure and asked from where the MP of Panbang, Dorji Wangdi, got the incorrect figure.

Lyonpo said that the ministry has sent 727 youth overseas, and he said there is no mistake in the figure.  “The correct figure should be known by all the people in the country.”

According to the Labour Force Survey 2014, the female youth unemployment rate is 10.0 percent while male youth unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. The youth population is estimated at 145611, with 69080 male and 76531 female, as per the survey.

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