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LGBTIs in civil service: 651 transgender people applied for PSC exams

  • Officials describe it as a big step forward for the gay community
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Feb 11, 2017-As many as 651 transgender people applied for civil service exams conducted by the Public Service Commission in the fiscal year 2015-16.

It was first time in the country’s history that transgenders were allowed to vie for civil service jobs. The forms for exams had three gender options, one for male examinees, the other for females, and the third was for third genders, or the ‘Other’ sex.

The percentage of the applicants who had applied for the exams identifying themselves as the ‘Other’ sex was a measly 0.11 percent of the  595,031 applicants, it nevertheless was a big step forward for the country’s LGBTI community, according to PSC Chairman Umesh Prasad Mainali.

The PSC annual report of the FY 2015-16, does not state how many transgender applicants secured jobs because the results of many exams had not come out at the time of the report publication, said Geeta Kumari Humagain, information officer at the PSC.

“The results of all exams were not included in the report, so there is a chance that people identifying themselves as the ‘Other’ sex might have secured jobs in civil service,” she added. 

Even if the transgender applicants did not make it through the exams, Mainali said, they can have a go next time.

“The government opening doors to allow transgenders to join the civil service is a positive decision. It is a matter of providing equal opportunity to all citizens,” said Mainali.

A member of Blue Diamond Society, an LGBTI advocacy group, praised the opportunity provided to transgenders by the government but said that they should also be included in the reservation policy, like women, Dalits, other ethnic minorities, and disabled persons, for whom the government has been setting aside 45 percent of the civil service seats.

“The government should give LGBTIs a leg up for them to succeed in the society. There are many of us who come from poor background and who have lived in stigma all their lives just like the people who belong to the scheduled castes and tribes,” she said.

Published: 11-02-2017 07:53

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