Women representation in civil service dismal

- Dipak Bayalkoti, Kathmandu

Aug 29, 2014-

At a time when women rights activist are increasingly wary of low representation of women in political parties and the Constituent Assembly, the number of women in the civil service is even dismal, reveals a government report.

The report of the Central Bureau of Statistics states that the presence of women in civil service continues to be nominal despite ‘women-friendly and inclusive laws’. According to the report, of the total 79,778 civil servants, only 12,571 (15.78 percent) are women. Presence of women in managerial positions is even lower though the overall entry of women in the civil service is said to be gradually increasing in the recent years.

Officials see ‘education, patriarchal socio-culture and unclear and ambiguous law’ as main barriers for women to enter the civil service. Currently, the number of women in gazetted, non- gazetted, low ranks and health service positions is 13,312, 25,371, 18,626, and 9,898 respectively, which is just 7.88, 13.07, 7.43 and 38.22 percent of the total number of employees in the respective sectors. The government has not even appointed a single woman in the post of chief secretary till now.

Rudra Prasad Sitaula, legal officer at the Public Service Commission, said they are gradually addressing the gap between men and women in civil service, without spoiling the meritocracy.

According to the report, the number of women in special, first, second and third class officers’ posts is just 1 out of 49, 20 out of 521, 128 out of 3,193, and 989 out of 9,697  respectively. “The Civil Service Act 1993 should be amended to meet the constitutional provision on proportional representation of women,” said Sheikh Chandtara, chairperson of National Women Commission, adding, “The provision for reservation should be implemented in appointing senior level officials as well.”

Women officials argue that corruption is widespread in civil service as it is predominantly male-occupied and not women friendly.

Published: 30-08-2014 09:20

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