Women dominate the agriculture sector

However, males make up a huge chunk of the creative and digital sectors


The Bhutan Workforce Future report published by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bhutan reveals that females dominate the agriculture sector but lacked in the creative and digital sectors.

The workforce report released 0n 15 December explores skill-needs in the creative, agriculture and digital sectors in the next five, 10 and 15 years.

The report also states that increase in women’s participation has been observed in the agriculture sector, either as self-employed or agricultural wage workers.

As per the National Labour Force Survey, the agriculture sector is consistently dominated by female farmers. Women’s work in agriculture has become more visible over the past few years, broadening and deepening their involvement as they increasingly shoulder household responsibilities and respond to economic opportunities in commercial agriculture.

The labour force survey of 2011-2021 indicates the proportion of female (57.8 percent) which is subsequently higher than male (41.3 percent) in the agriculture sector.

The report further adds that in smallholder agriculture, the traditional gender segregation of tasks in agricultural and livestock production is becoming blurred.

“Women are taking over more agricultural tasks, such as land preparation, once done only by men. They are investing more work in cash crop production,” the Bhutan workforce future report states.

However, the MoLHR administrative data 2020-2022 reveal that the number of applicants for the online creative course offered under skills development program (SDP) shows positive interaction from females where, of the total 296 applicants that had completed the course, 190 learners were female and 106 males.

Nonetheless, the creative and digital sector is being driven by male. Students studying overseas for creative qualification reveal that the number of females availing the qualification is increasing but male dominates the number.

According to department of adult and higher education 2018-2020, out of  35 students studying overseas for creative qualification, 14 were females and the rest male.

The workforce report states that the available data show that men also dominated digital roles. For instance, most of the employees in established IT firms and those working as digital freelancers were male.

Moreover, interests and participation in digital jobs innovation challenges and hackathons organised by MoLHR also witnessed a higher number of male participants as compared to their female counterparts.

The report proposed interventions, including experiments and pilots, to drive future workforce supply and job growth.

The survey was carried out as a part of the joint efforts between MoLHR and UNDP to tackle the challenge of youth unemployment.

Tashi Wangmo, secretary of MoLHR, said the report will also help in the planning of 13th Five Year Plan.