Sherab Lhamo

More young Bhutanese women are moving to the Middle East – Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar to work, according to data with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment.

In the first half of 2023-2024 fiscal year, the Overseas Employment Program(OEP) sent 794 Bhutanese jobseekers to Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar, of which 543 were women and 251 were men.

Similarly, the Youth Engagement and Livelihood Program (YELP) had 248 individuals seeking employment—176 females and 72 males. Of the 1,198 jobseekers who secured jobs through Employment Service Centres in Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samdrupjongkhar, and Trashigang, 601 were women and 597 men.

The entrepreneurship development programmes witnessed 486 youths participants undergoing the Basic Entrepreneurship Course, with a majority of participants being females—327 females compared to 159 males.

The Gowa Forum also helped job seekers get recruited on-the-spot,conducted in Thimphu, Samdrupjongkhar, and Phuentsholing regions.

Gowa is a platform for disseminating information, connecting individuals with job opportunities in the labour market, which facilitated on-the-spot recruitment by potential employers.

The above data strongly suggested a surge in women’s participation in the country’s labour market, according to the issue of Layog Neysheyd by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment.

The report revealed that during the period (first half of FY 2023-2024) a total of 8,212 registered seeking jobs on the Bhutan Labour Market Information System (BLMIS).

From the total registered job seekers 4,242 (51.7 percent) were women.

The report showed that the majority of those job seekers were individuals who completed Class 12, followed by Class 10, indicating that the youths tried to seek employment opportunities after class 12 and 10.

Gowa also managed to provide jobs to 33 job seekers from 295 youths taking part in it.

The report also showcased an increase in the number of registered job seekers and placements with the majority of job referrals being women.

Employment Service Centres and Regional Offices of MoICE carry out job referrals to help employers connect with job seekers, minimising the time and cost of standard recruitment processes through referral programmes.

The report also points out that the adequacy ratio, which is the ratio of job placements to job vacancies, had fallen from 1.4 in the fiscal year 2018-2019 to 0.6 in the fiscal year 2022-2023.