25 September 2023

PAKISTAN: PS recruitment hits culture barrier

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A new report has found that of the 649,176 positions in Pakistan’s Federal Public Service only 5.48 per cent were currently occupied by women and 2.82 per cent by non-Muslims.

In addition, the report found that 78,623 positions were lying vacant.

Former Federal Secretary, Rukhsana Shah (pictured) said there was a general reluctance to hire women owing to the mindset that women would not continue work after marriage.

A former Public Servant, Syed Saadat said female quotas often remained unfilled owing to cultural barriers.

“There is a hesitation to serve on tough postings or in remote towns, and the Government offices do not have conducive environments for women so their career progress is impeded,” Mr Saadat said.

He noted that in 2016, the top three positions in the Public Service examinations were taken by women. Out of the 85 female applicants, 84 were recommended for appointments.

Even so, the number of women in top positions could be “counted on fingers”.

Ms Shah said there were hardly any women in policymaking positions, and those who were tended to be assigned areas like tourism and health which limited their scope.

“More women needed to be inducted into ‘hard’ governance areas like finance and commerce,” she said.

Of the total number of non-Muslim employees, Punjab combined with Islamabad had the highest share, with 10,405 officers, including 10,114 Christians.

Sindh had the most Hindus with 916 officers. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had the most Sikhs (13).

Islamabad, 25 September, 2018

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