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FEATURE STORY March 13, 2019

Skilling Up: 5 Beneficiaries of Bangladesh's STEP Program


From left: Janatul Ferdous Min, Rabia Akter, Kamrul Nahar Omi, Sadia Afrin, and Arifa Tasnia Ritu


  • In order for Bangladesh to meet its future workforce demands, removing barriers for more women to come into the labor force is a crucial step. The government of Bangladesh is committed to improving the skills sector and helping to remove barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing economic opportunities
  • The World Bank has partnered with the government for the Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) investing in 45 polytechnic institutes to improve female-inclusion and deliver industry-relevant skills
  • STEP has yielded results with over 40,000 low-income female students receiving stipends, and female enrolment jumping from 5 percent to 14 percent. Based on its success, the Bangladesh government is keen to continue improving the sector in partnership with the World Bank and other development agencies

Watch some of the girls speak about how they have benefited from the technical and vocational training programs and broken into traditionally male job spaces.

Sadia Afrin

Learn how Sadia's love for cartoons have turned into reality with an education in computer training and graphic designs.

Rabia Akter

Find out how Rabia – a young girl from a small village – got interested in studying electronics, thanks to her uncle.

Kamrul Nahar Omi

Kamrul has big dreams to teach computer programming to other students who have struggled as much as she has.

Janatul Ferdous Min

Learn how Janatul is adjusting to the male-dominated world of architecture after her graduation from technical college.

Arifa Tasnia Ritu

Arifa looks back on her journey from not able to memorize her text books to graduating in electrical engineering and finding a job.