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Study finds gender discrimination in govt bodies

By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD: Pointing towards widespread gender discrimination in public sector organisations, a Planning Commission study has revealed that none of the ministries is setting aside 10 per cent of the jobs for women as required under the Constitution.

“It is concluded that there exists gender discrimination in public sector organisations. None of the ministries has female employees as per quota decided by (the) government,” said the study titled ‘gender discrimination in job opportunities and impact of gender awareness in public sector organisations’.

The study said it was rare for women working in the public sector to get promotions on time. But for this the women themselves were partly responsible because they generally did not get their ACRs (annual confidential reports) completed in time, except for those working in the district management group.

Similarly, in case of rifts with other colleagues, women employees did not have the fighting spirit and thus let other people get promoted. The report said that people might deny it “but the fact is that gender discrimination against women still exists”.

The report said that it was the male mindset which had to be changed, revealing interesting beliefs even in the top government offices. Quoting one example, the report said that during the course of the survey “one high-level officer (name cannot be mentioned) said yes all this work for women empowerment is fine, but still I will say that the best place for women is at home and not outside home”.

Quoting reasons behind gender discrimination, the report said that most girls were not allowed to work with their male members. Parents and husbands still felt among all professions, teaching, nursing and medical were better for women, it said.

Based on a data of 16 federal ministries and the Planning Commission, the report said there were only 112 women working in grade-15 and below against their male colleagues of 2542. Against 31 male officers in grade-21 and 22, there was not even a single woman officer and there were only three women officers in grade-20 against 44 male officers.

In the Planning Commission itself, out of 1214 employees, only 101 were women or only 8 per cent of the total employees. The maximum strength of 35 women, the report said, was in the administration wing and another 34 in its attached cell.

The report said that in the administration, women were employed in lower grades like posts of assistants, stenographers and computer operators who did not have any career ladder.

Source: Dawn