Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) in Bangladesh

Equal Employment Opportunity in Bangladesh (EEO)

Transcript of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) in Bangladesh

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Equal Employment Opportunity in Bangladesh


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Report on

Equal Employment Opportunity in Bangladesh (EEO)

Prepared for

Md. Zahidul IslamFaculty of C.B.A. (Collage of Business Administration)

Prepared by

The Troubleshooters

Name ID# no

1. Md. Arif Hossain -------------------------------------------------10302005 2. Nurul Habib Chowdhury ----------------------------------------103020163. Kazi Naima Sultana ----------------------------------------------103020284. Faria Yeasmin -----------------------------------------------------10302053

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IUBAT – International University of Business Agriculture and Technology

Letter of TransmittalMay 31, 2011

Md. Zahidul Islam,FacultyCollage of Business AdministrationIUBAT- International University of Business Agriculture and Technology

Subject: Submission of Practicum Report.

Dear Sir,It will be great pleasure for us if you give permission to submit report named “Equal Employment Opportunity in Bangladesh(EEO).” The main objective of conducting this research project is to identify the importance of case study in University education and how can the students be benefited by doing it. Moreover, this project will identify how deeply students are practicing case study and for which type of subject, they are doing more case study.

Though there will be many hindrances arise during we are conducting data and information for this project, we will try our level best to collect as much necessary information as possible.

Yours sincerely

____________________ ___________________Md. Arif Hossain Nurul Habib Chowdhury

___________________ ___________________Faria Yeasmin Kazi Naima Sultana

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Student Declaration

I am Md. Arif Hossain, the group leader of our team and the other members

of our team are – Nurul Habib Chowdhury, Faria Yeasmin and Kazi Naima

Sultana. We are the student of IUBAT in B.B.A. program. We have

completed our report on “Equal Employment Opportunity in Bangladesh

(EEO)” We are declaring that this report on the stated topic has only been

prepared for the fulfillment of our practicum. It has not been prepared for

any other purpose.

____________________ ___________________Md. Arif Hossain Nurul Habib Chowdhury

___________________ ___________________Faria Yeasmin Kazi Naima Sultana

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As per requirements of the B.B.A. (Bachelor Business Administration)

program our honorable course teacher Md. Zahidul Islam has included a

report in the course curriculum. We are group Trouble-Shooters and our

assigned report is “Equal Employment Opportunity in Bangladesh ” We

express our sincere gratitude to our honorable course teacher Md. Zahidul

Islam, for his guidance, advice and assistance in preparing the assigned case.

We are really grateful to our course instructor for his unstinted support,

timely and sophisticated direction and finally endless morale in learning the

knowledge through preparing this report. Finally, thanks are also due to our

group members who have done their job enthusiastically and perfectly.

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Executive Summery

In Bangladesh over the last three decades emphasis has been given on ensuring gender

equality and mainstreaming gender issues through various policies and strategies to

ensure employment of women in various professions. The government is a major

employer in Bangladesh. Thus appointment of women in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS)

and their inclusion in different cadres is very significant and needs special consideration

from various perspectives. The Government of Bangladesh (GOB) has already taken

some policy decisions and special measures to ensure equitable female participation in

the civil service. A quota system was introduced to increase the presence of women in the

government employment sector. Yet women participation in government services has not

reached a satisfactory level.

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Introduction-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 01

Objectives of the Study--------------------------------------------------------------- 03

Government Policy and Female Status in BCS------------------------------------ 03

Government policies regarding Woman Employement---------------------- 07

Methodology--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14

Recommendation---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18

Limitation-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 20

Conclusion----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 21

Refference------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 22

Group Activity----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 23

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01. Introduction:

In Bangladesh over the last three decades emphasis has been given on ensuring gender

equality and mainstreaming gender issues through various policies and strategies to

ensure employment of women in various professions. The government is a major

employer in Bangladesh. Thus appointment of women in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS)

and their inclusion in different cadres is very significant and needs special consideration

from various perspectives.

The Government of Bangladesh (GOB) has already taken some policy decisions and

special measures to ensure equitable female participation in the civil service. A quota

system was introduced to increase the presence of women in the government employment

sector. Yet women participation in government services has not reached a satisfactory


The total strength of female in government service is 10 percent and only 8 percent in

both class I and class II posts (Kashem et al , 2002:35). In the 29 cadres most of the

women are at the lower levels. The presence of women at higher levels of administration

and policy formulation is not significant.

Against this backdrop, a modest attempt has been made in this paper to analyze the

prevailing women employment situation in BCS cadres with a focus on the problems

faced by the women officers which cause low female participation in the BCS.

1.1 Conceptual Framework

During the last two decades the term gender mainstreaming has become an important

issue in current development discourses. Before embarking on a discussion gender

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streaming in BCS cadres it is essential to define the concepts. Gender, women , gender

mainstreaming and reservation system.

1.2 Gender:

Understanding the differences between women and men, and how they are determined is

of key importance in understanding why a gender perspective is so important for

development. Differences between women and men are determined by biology, on the

one hand, and society on the other.

Sex refers to biological differences between males and females, while gender refers to the

socially determined personal and psychological characteristics associated with being

male and female namely, masculinity and femininity (Garrett, 1992:VII, cited in khan,


Gender relations describe the social meaning of female and male and thus what is

considered appropriate behavior or activity for women and men (Haider, 1995:35). It has

also been argued that gender refers to both women and men and to the interactions

between them (HDC, 2000:24). Gender differences in every society have been created

and reproduced through socio-cultural, religious, political and economic factors (HDC,

2000:24). One of the major findings of the recent research is that gender differences are

mostly learnt (Garett, 1992: VII, cited. in khan, 2005:254) It is also observed that without

focusing on gender, the situation of women in all aspects of life cannot be properly

understood and problems pertaining them cannot be remedied and improved upon (Khan,


1.3 Women:

Women constitute nearly half of the total population and half of its potential. Therefore,

Socio-economic development cannot be truly achieved without the active participation of

women at the decision making level in society. Women are left behind economically,

socially and culturally in our tradition bound Bangladesh society. To ensure the

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participation of women in all spheres of life, all sorts of facilities and opportunities are to

be provided to them.

1.4 Gender Mainstreaming:

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1997 pointed out in

detail the meaning of gender mainstreaming:

It is a process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action,

including legislation, policies or programmers, in any area at all levels.

It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women as well as of men an

integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and

programmers in all political, economic and societal affairs so that women and men

benefit equally.

The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality (ECOSOC, 1997:2,

cited in khan, 2005: 256).

1.5 Reservation System

Gender and minority issues in the employment of public sector personnel in most

developing countries need critical analysis. Usually, constitutional provisions proclaim

equality between men and women and prohibit any discrimination on the basis of sex or

other considerations in the recruitment and promotion of public personnel. Yet social,

cultural, educational and security constraints prevent women from fully enjoying their

constitutional rights and guarantees ( Rahman, 2001 :57). So equity has become a key

concern in this context. To increase representation of those segments of the society whose

participation has been minimal in the civil service, some developing countries have made

significant provisions. The constitutions of these countries have empowered the state to

reserve a certain percent of their vacancies in the public sector for women, to minimize

the disadvantages faced by them.

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2.1 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the paper are:

1) To present a comprehensive picture of the position of women in BCS cadres;

2) To examine the governmental policies and practices relating to increase women

participation in the cadre services;

3) To find out the barriers/problems behind the low representation of women; and

4) To suggest measures to improve the overall situation.

3.1 Government Policy and Female Status in BCS

After the emergence of Bangladesh it was found that, the civil service was under

represented by women. Recognizing this problem, the Constitution of Bangladesh has

made significant provisions to provide equal opportunity for males and females in every

sphere of life. Moreover, the government adopted quotas (reservation of posts) for

women in entering the civil service and took many policies not only to increase women

representation in the civil service but to integrate women into the mainstream of


3.2 Constitutional Guarantees for Equal Job Opportunity

The constitution of Bangladesh has ensured equal employment rights and opportunities

to females as their male counterparts. Article-29 of the constitution states:

There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in respect of employment or office

in the service of the Republic.

No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be

ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office in the

service of the Republic.

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Nothing in this Article shall prevent the state from, making special provisions, in favor

of any backward section of citizens for the purpose of securing their adequate

representation in the service of the Republic.

3.3 Quota System in BCS

In case of direct recruitment, the government has introduced the quota system. After

independence, the government found that, in the public service not only women, but

ethnic, religious groups and some of the regions were under represented. The

constitution, as a result, indicated its faith in the broad tenets of Equal Employment

Opportunity, which were to govern the recruitment and selection of public personnel

(Zafarullah and Khan, 1989:82). In fact, recognizing the urgency of the problem the

government adopted quotas (reservation of posts) which was reflected in the Interim

Recruitment Policy of 1972 and is still followed by the government with various

modifications from time to time. This was designed to achieve greater equity in the

representation of all regions and groups in civil service by reservation of positions and

giving preference to certain sections of the population (Zafarullah and Khan, 1998:83).

The following table shows the present quota distribution in BCS.

Table for Administration of quota System:

Distribution of vacancies

Gazetted Posts

(Class I &

Class II)

Non Gazetted

Posts (Class I &

Class II)

Merit 45% Nill

Women 10% 15%

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Wards of Freedom Fighters 30% 30%

Tribal People 05% 05%

Others 10% 10%

Ansar and VDP _ 10%

Source: Ministry of Establishment, GOB (1995)

The present quota system reveals that, for the recruitment in cadre services, 45 per cent of

available vacant posts would be filled on the basis of merit and the remaining 55 per cent

would be based on district quota. Special quota like 30 per cent for wards of freedom

fighters, 10 per cent for females and 5 percent for tribals would be adjusted from the

district quota. Different special types of quotas would be distributed among the qualified

candidates on the basis of their merit in their respective group.

The percentage reserved as a special quota would be calculated on the basis of

the total number of vacant posts.

Merit quotas would not be affected by any other special or district quota.

After distribution of vacant posts on the basis of special quotas, the rest of the

posts would be distributed among the candidates of respective district after

adjustment with the special quota distribution (GOB, 1995).

In selecting the candidates as non-gazetted officers, all vacant posts should be distributed

district wise on the basis of the population of the district. Then different special quota i.e.,

30 per cent for wards of freedom fighters, 15 per cent for females, 5 percent for tribal and

10 per cent for Ansar and Village Defense Party (VDP) would be maintained on the

basis of their merit. Finally, undistributed vacant posts would be distributed against the

number of posts available in the respective districts to the qualified candidates. Number

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of available post under each district would be determined after deducting the number of

persons selected in the respective districts through different special quota (GOB, 1995).

Thus, the GOB has made special arrangements to enhance female participation in the

civil service, by reserving a 10 percent employment quota for gazetted post and 15 per

cent for non-gazetted post, for the females. This policy reflects government’s good

intention and wishes for attaining gender equality in the civil service.

3.4 Rationale Behind Women Quota in BSC

The quota system aims at improving the scope of employment for women in BCS as they

have long been deprived of education, training, and all other opportunities. Their

participation in the civil service is minimal due to low educational rates, restricted

mobility, lack of security and traditional social values as mentioned in many studies. But

it is very difficult to develop the society by keeping them away from the bureaucracy as it

determines most of the government policies. So Women should get the chance to enter

into various positions of civil service. Through the quota system women are accessing

better scopes of employment. It can ensure the participation of women in all possible

cadres as well as help to remove stereotyped images towards female profession (Kashem

et. al., 2002:50).

Opponents of quota system say that, it is a barrier to merit and administrative efficiency.

It is often criticized that in the face of unemployment of males, females are given undue

privileges through the quota system. This system also supports underestimation of

abilities, discrimination and gender specific standards of females, which could lead to

further discrimination of women. But there is no cause to believe that women who were

hired through the women quotas being hired without their required qualifications. Rather,

they have to show their competence by appearing in different examination, the same as

males. A quota system may be explained here as a way, whereby, some eligible female

candidates are getting an added opportunity to enter into the civil service (Kashem et. al.,


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Considering the history of the country, there have been barriers for female participation

in civil service for a long time. The women should therefore be entitled to opportunities

to show their competence. Section-3 of Article .29 of the constitution of Bangladesh has

empowered the state to make some special arrangements for the backward classes of

people. Article-4 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination

Against Women (CEDAW) also stated that, it will not be treated as discriminations, if the

state parties take special measures for equality between male and female. However, the

women quota in BCS cannot be treated as discrimination, since women have been

obstructed to come in civil service for a long period of time. The quota system is

necessary until women representation reaches a specified level in the civil service cadres

(Kashem et. al., 2002:50). One of the PSC member stated that, the quota policy would

reduce the social tension and ensure social justice for women as well as voice their

concerns in every sphere of the society (Kashem et.al., 2002:87).

5.1 Government Policies Regarding Women Employment

The GOB has declared the National Policy for the Advancement of Women (NPAW) on

8 March, 1997. It has addressed 14 different and relevant issues where employment and

administrative empowerment of women were given special emphasis. With a view to

create employment opportunities for the women, the following measures were suggested.

Increase efforts to employ all educated and uneducatedfemales.

Increase female quotas and ensure its effective implementation in all spheres.

Motivate all appointing authorities to follow government quotas and to provide

equal facilities for females under the purview of government employment policy.

Create congenial atmosphere to sustain the entry of females in the job market in

greater numbers, their continuation and advancement there on. (GOB, 1998).

5.2 For the administrative empowerment of women, the following policies

were undertaken.

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Make provisions for contracts and lateral entry to facilitate female access to

government service in the higher levels of administrative structure.

Appoint females to the higher positions of Judiciary, University Grants

Commission, Ambassadors, State Representatives in different United Nations

Bodies and other International Organizations.

Continue the quota system and increase the quota at all levels.

Increase efforts for achieving a 30 per cent female population at all levels of

decision making, including policy level post (GOB, 1998).

The National Action Plan (NAP) was declared by governmentn1998. It has furnished the

role of 15 concerned ministries nd some other relevant ministries in the plan for

increasing emale participation in public sector and decision making levels. oreover, the

Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs nd the Ministry of Labor and

Manpower were assigned to take ction for recruiting women in Judicial and senior

management osition (Kashem et. al., 2002 :45).

t is therefore very clear that, excluding the constitutional uarantees and .Quota Policy. for

women, many other policies as also been taken by the GOB to increase women

participation n the civil service. So it can be said that, government.s policy bjective is

streaming women in BCS.

5.3 Position of Women in BCS

Women’s representation has increased in the civil service of Bangladesh compared to

ICS and Pakistan Civil Service. But the position of women vis-à-vis men in terms of

number is still insignificant. Before 1976 women constituted 7 percent of the total public

service employment and after the introduction of women quota in 1976, women

constituted around 8 percent of the total employment strength untill 1985 (Khan,

1988:56). In 1994, it was around 9 percent (Statistical Pocket Book Bangladesh,

1996:166) and in 2002 it was 10 percent (Kashem et.al,2002:35).

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The above statistics shows that, there is a slow and gradual increase of women.s

participation in the BCS during the last 30 years. But this cannot be considered as a

satisfactory increase, rather it may be explained as a natural growth. It is noteworthy to

mention that, the female candidates are increasing day by day corresponding to women.s

increasing education rate and as a result the gap between male-female ratio is found to be

decreasing (Table - 4).

The total female participation in all classes of civil service is only 10 percent. In a class

wise comparison, the female participation is highest in calss III (12%) and lowest in class

IV (6%). Women participation is more or less same in class I and Class II posts which

constituted 8% of the total strength of their respective group (Kashem et.al., 2002:35)

5.4 Women in Cadre Services

Women participation in different cadre services is increasing day by day. Since 1982

females have appeared in the BCS examinations and been recruited in all cadre services

regularly. The recruitment of females into the police cadre was banned for many years.

The restrictions have now been withdrawn and some female officers joined the 18th BCS

(Kashem et.al., 2002:35).

It is evident from Table - 1 that in the general cadre women participation was about 16

percent during 13th to 19th BCS. Among general cadres female participation was highest

in the Administration cadre (47%), followed by the Taxation cadre(11%), and Family

Planning cadre(9%). More than half (56.72%) of the female officers in the general cadre

are being employed through the female quota system.

In the professional and technical cadres female participation was 22 percent. In these

cadres more than two thirds of the females (66.40%) are being employed by

merit(44.11%) and district quota (22.29%). Under professional and technical cadres 60

percent female officials were employed in the Education cadre. This is followed by the

Health (General surgeon) cadre (26%). Women participation in other technical cadres is

very low, especially, in the sectors relating to engineering and agriculture. In Railway

Engineering cadre women had no representation at all. (Table - 1).

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Althrough female participation in technical cadre was higher than in the general cadre,

actually there was lower participation in the technical cadre because the education cadre

comprise three fifths (60%) of the total female officials of the professional and technical

cadre. The poor participation in technical cadre may be the result of a smaller level of

female participation in technical education (Kashem et. Al., 2002:51). It may be noted

here that, majority of the female officials are found in the stereotyped professions i.e,

education, health and social service.

Furthermore it is observed that the presence of women at higher levels of administration

is very low. It is clear from Table - 6 that even in 2004 women are not represented at the

higher rungs of the civil service. Though the position of women at the entrance level

(Assistant Secretary) and at the next level (Senior Assistant Secretary) improved in terms

of numerical number, women.s reprensentation at the higher levels (Secretary, Additional

Secretary) of the civil service is almost non existent. Due to women.s late start and being

grossly outnumbered by men in the cadres, women are yet to ascend to these positions

(Islam, 2003:3). Because a recruit in the civil service cadre normally takes 15 to 20 years

to rise to superior decision making echelon which include Secretary, Additional

Secretary, Joint Secretary in the Ministries/Divisions that are decision making units and

Heads of Departments/Directorates that are executing/implementing agencies under the

Ministries/ Divisions.

5.5 Female Quota Utilization in BCS Cadres

Records of PCS indicate that, in the 70s there were no female applicants for many cadres

and number of women who qualified in the BCS was less than the quota entitlement. As

late as 1985, PSC was able for the first time to select women recruits for the full quota

requirement. Now women also qualify on merit, so total recruitment of women now

generally exceeds the women quota of 10 percent. However, their number is very small

compared to the cadre strength, too small to produce an impact on the civil service.

The Annual Reports of the PSC show that, over 15 years (1983- 1998) government could

not fill the posts which were reserved for women (Table - 2). Only 7th and 8th BCS were

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able to fill up 100 percent of the female quota. It was observed that, there were significant

variations in the percentage of quota filled from one year to another and the government

has failed to accommodate women in the civil service cadre in spite of the fact that 10

percent of the posts are reserved for them. The main cause for the under utilization of the

female quota in the different years was the non availability of qualified females in the

technical posts. (Kashem et.al., 2002:52). Posts related to Agriculture, Dental and

Fisheries were not filled at all. Women had no representation in the Railway Engineering

cadre. But posts under quota in the Education cadre and Health (General Surgeon) cadre

were filled satisfactorily (Table- 3).

In the general cadre it was found that all the posts reserved for women were filled except

the Police cadre. Posts under Administration cadre (Table- 3) of the 13th BCS were

partially fulfilled. It indicates that females are more interested in services that are more

socially suited for them such as service in the Education and Health Sector.

Government’s quota policy for women have some problem of its own. The complicated

method of distribution of quota on the basis of population often works against women.s

interest. If there are no qualifying female candidates in a particular district, the post

allocated to the district would be distributed among general qualifying candidates of the

relevant greater district. Even if there are qualified female candidates from other district

for which no posts are available against female quota, they are not eligible for

recruitment. Another important aspect of quota is that it is applicable only at the entry

level. Few women who had joined civil service beyond that level through contract,

deputation or lateral entry did not derive any benefit from the quota system. In addition,

under the existing recruitment policy, the female quota is not enforced when the number

of vacant positions fall below 4.

From the above discussion it can be said that, despite the constitutional provisions and

special measures undertaken by the government, women’s presence in BCS is still

discouraging in numbers, grades and position. The more worrisome aspect is that women

are not only under represented in the civil service, they also tend to be concentrated in the

bottom of the hierarchy. Over 90 percent are in class III and class IV. This means that the

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vast majority of women in the civil service are low paid, clerical staff, having no say in

either making or implementing policy (WB, 1996:129). Women constituted only 8

percent of class I and class II gazetted officers (NCBP, 2005 :36).

5.6 Problems Behind Low Participation of Women in BCS Cadres

The reason behind this inadequate representation of women in BCS Cadres is multi

dimensional. Women officers in cadre services face multi faceted problems which arise

both at home and in the office. Women.s marginalized position in the BCS could be seen

as stemming from a complex interplay of factors historical, cultural, socio-economic,

administrative and attitudinal. Social reasons include too many household and

reproductive duties, limited mobility, insecurity and societal backwardness.

Administrative reasons include among others lack of appropriate work environment.

Attitudinal problems refer to negative outlook and attitudes of colleagues, clienteles,

bosses and general people towards women officers. The masculine cultural pattern of our

society also limits female employment opportunity. To identify the problems faced by the

career women in BCS cadres, 22 female officers belonging to four different cadres were

interviewed by the author. The cadres-wise break down of the female officers were as

follows . General Education . II, Health . 6, Audit and Accounts . 3 and Administration .

2. The results of the findings are summarized below.

5.7 Apprehension of Getting Posted in Rremote Areas and Transferable Nature

of jobs

Women have a natural tendency to live with family. They are not willing to go to other

places for the purpose of services, leaving family members. They do not like transferable

jobs because of family concern and family barriers. Sometimes they are forced to resign

from jobs because of transfer problem, which creates conflicts in their family life. But it

is not always possible to post the females in their husband.s work area due to non

availability of the required post. Apprehension of getting posted in remote areas and

frequent transfers in government services make women less interested to pursue a career

in civil service. Women are in favour of jobs which have less transfer problems.

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5.8 Family Responsibilities

Due to cultural heritage most of the responsibilities of a family lie with women in

Bangladesh. Sometimes they have to choose one between family and career, where they

give priority to family. It becomes a double burden for a working woman because she has

to look after her office and house. A full time job does not excuse women from domestic

responsibilities. It takes away a large part of their productive energy which is an obstacle

to maintaining a high standard of performance in office (Salahuddin, 1992:91). Due to

multiple roles that the females are expected to play in the house and in the office, it

becomes difficult to perform either efficiently.

5.9 Lack of child care facilities

Childcare has become one of the main issues for all working mothers.Due to the

changing family structure people live in nuclear families where there is virtually nobody

to look after the children or to extend support in the household chores. In the absence of

childcare facilities a woman has to depend and rely on inefficient and unreliable

maidservants. As a result she is usually mentally occupied with her children and

household work while she is at work, which disrupts her office work. Sometimes it

becomes difficult for her to reach office in time and she is often forced to return home

before the office closes or go on frequent leaves (Kashem et.al., 2002:91) That is why

women are still in favour of jobs related to teaching which have more leave opportunities.

5.10 Non cooperation of male colleagues and family members

Women’s role as a .working women. and as a wage earner.Is not adequately and properly

considered.Most of the husbands do not share responsibilities in the household work but

expect that, their working wives would look after all the comforts of the family as perfect

.home managers.The male colleagues have dual sets of values towards the roles of

females. At home, they want to see their female members perform their roles effectively,

and yet most of them do not like to consider the plight of their female colleagues if,they

want to leave early or arrive let because of household duties or childcare problems

(Kashem et.al.,2002: 92).

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5.11 Absence of appropriate and supportive environment in the

workplace Lack of favorable work environment is one of the main reason for the low

presence of women in civil service. Socially, we still consider men.s work much more

important than women.s work. As a result, work-space, work-patterns are completely

male oriented in our country. Special arrangements for women officers are absent in our

office environment. The following problems are found to be responsible for limited entry

of women in civil service, as identified in several research works.

Absence of a day care centre.

Unavailability of an individual room in which to work.

Lack of separate rest room facilities.

Lack of separate toilet facilities.

Absence of a congenial working environment.

Inadequate transport facilities.

Inadequate residential accommodation.

Lack of Career women.s hostel facilities.

5.12 Superiority complexes and negative attitudes of the male colleagues

Our society is a male dominated society. The values, norms, religious beliefs of our

society do not permit women to be in decision making position. Men are not mentally

oriented to accept women as bosses and colleagues. Man feel humiliated working under a

female. His male ego hurts. Men think women are not competent enough to be in top

position, to take challenges, to make decisions. The male officers want to see women

officers in the typical .female image. and think that they would always be docile and

dependant on males. Male colleagues have a tendency to dominate their female

colleagues and in many cases female officers receive unequal treatment in distribution of

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responsibilities. The tendency to treat women officers in a gender biased fashion creates a

negative impression among women which also make a negative impact on the overall

work environment.

5.13 Lack of Security

Lack of security refers to the protection of women.s privacy as well as protecting abuse

and harassment (Kashem et.al., 2002: 92). Most of the females feel insecure when having

to work after the normal office hours in vacated offices.

5.14 Societal backwardness

Because of the cultural orientation there exists a notion staring from the employer to the

common people that women are unsuitable for administrative and challenging jobs. As a

result women are not accepted as a .magistrate. or .police officer. by the public. Very few

people encourage women to join or continue their jobs in those positions. Social

prejudices and traditional attitudes created by cultural conditioning as well as norms,

values and the socialization process has developed closed mindedness in both males and

females (Kashem et. al, 2002:94). Social attitudes towards female work create low career

interest among female.

All of these contribute to create lack of interest among women as well as their guardians

towards civil service.

6.1 Methodology:

The paper has been written on the basis of a review of secondary research conducted in

this area. Relevant books, journals, government circulars, research reports, annual reports

of Bangladesh Public Service Commission and Ministry of Establishment were

consulted. In addition, primary data was also collected from informal discussions with

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female officers belonging to four different cadres (General Education, Health, Audit and

Accounts and Administration) of the BCS.

6.2 Civil Service System in Bangladesh

The civil service of a country is an indispensable organ of the government. The term civil

service generally includes all functionaries of the government excepting those in the

military service (Report of the Pay and Services Commission, 1977).

The civil service of Bangladesh has several features in its organization, composition and

classification (Morshed,1997:77). Before going to the discussion on the position of

women in the civil service it is imperative to discuss these features.

The civil service has been classified vertically into four categories, namely class-I, class-

II, c-III and class-IV, based on such variables as levels of responsibility, educational

qualification and pay range (Ahmed & Khan, 1990:29). The differentiation between the

classes is strictly maintained and inter-class movement is discouraged and extremely

difficult. So those who belong to the lower ranks of the public service i.e. more

specifically classes III and IV are usually considered as scheduled castes within the

public service system.The situation of those who belonging to class-II is relatively better

(Khan, 1995:69). The category class-I is the highest category of civil servants.

All government employees are broadly classified into two broad categories, i.e. gazetted

and non gazetted. The employees whose appointment, transfer, promotion, posting and so

on, are notified in the official gazette (a public document published periodically by the

government) are known as gazetted officers. All class-I and most class-II government

servants are treated as gazetted officers. They are normally invested with high powers

and responsibilities and consequently enjoy greater privileges than the non gazetted

employees (Ahmed, 1986:185).

Within the public service a very small number of civil servants belong to the cadre

service. Cadre services are those services, which are constituted under law with a number

of positions or structure and recruitment and promotion rules. On the other hand, non

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cadre services are mostly based on position, with no definite structure of mobility either

horizontally or vertically (Morshed, 1997:77).

A cadre system entails organization of civil servants into semifunctional occupational

groups or cadres. At present there are 29 cadres in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS). The

name of the cadres are : B.C.S. (Administration), B.C.S. (Agriculture), B.C.S. (Ansar),

B.C.S. (Audit and Accounts), B.C.S. (Economics), B.C.S. (Co-operative), B.C.S

(Customs and Excise), B.C.S. (Family Planning), B.C.S. (Fisheries), B.C.S. (Foreign

Affairs), B.C.S. (Forestry), B.C.S. (Food), B.C.S. (General Education), B.C.S. (Health),

B.C.S. (Information), B.C.S. (Judiciary), B.C.S. (Livestock), B.C.S. (Police), B.C.S

(Postal), B.C.S. (Public Health Engineering), B.C.S. (Public Works), B.C.S. (Railway

Engineering), B.C.S. (Railway Transportation and Commercial), B.C.S. (Roads and

Highways), B.C.S. (Statistical), B.C.S. (Taxation), B.C.S. (Technical Education), B.C.S.

(Tele-communication), B.C.S. (Trade).

Recruitment to the cadre services are made through the Public Service Commission

(PSC) on the basis of open competition. Subsequent to the completion of the selection

process, direct recruits to the BCS are assigned to an occupational cadre on the basis of

performance, vacancies and preference of candidates. A civil servant usually remains a

member of his/her chosen cadre throughout his/her career. Consequently, the job types,

posting and promotional prospects are determined by the cadre to which one belongs. All

cadre civil servants are class-I officers but all class-I officers do not belong to the cadre

service. The cadre officers compared to other class I officers enjoy more facilities and

benefits, prospect for relatively rapid promotion, better training and varied job

assignments (Khan, 1998:49).

6.3 Recruitment System of the BCS

The BCS is a broad based service with all its member cadres as class I Gazetted officers.

The PSC along with different ministries are liable to recruit personnel in the BCS cadres.

Basically, there are three types of recruitment procedures to the different cadres of the


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Direct Recruitment through open competitive examination.

Recruitment through promotion.

Recruitment through transfer or deputation. (Kashem et.al., 2002:31)

Recruitment at the entry level is mainly done through direct recruitment. The largest

number of officials are recruited by means of this procedure. Negligible number of

officials can avail the opportunity of getting included in cadres by means of deputation

(Mahtab, 1995 : 92). But it really does not happen these days.

6.4 Selection Procedure for the Cadre Officials

PSC is primarily responsible for the recruitment of the officers of 29 cadres. Generally,

the respective ministry informs the PSC about the number of vacant posts through the

Ministry of Establishment (MOE). PSC announces through the national newspapers,

inviting candidates to apply against the vacant posts. The eligible applicants are invited to

appear in a preliminary test of 100 marks. The applicants who qualify in the preliminary

test are asked to appear in a written test of 800 marks.

The candidates, who are able to obtain 45 per cent in the written test, are qualified for the

viva-voce. The total marks for viva-voce is 100 and there is further 100 marks for

psychological test. If any candidate is not able to pass the psychological test he/she will

not be considered for final selection. A merit list is prepared\ after adding the marks of

the written test and viva. The candidates are then selected according to the government

rules by calculating the different numbers of quota.

6.5 Women in Civil Service: A Brief Historical Overview

The present BCS had its origin during the British rule in the Indian Sub continent.

Bangladesh inherited the civil service system developed in Pakistan, which was a legacy

of Indian Civil Service (ICS). The ICS was manned exclusively by men. No women

entered the ICS upto 1935.

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The Civil Service of Pakistan continued its progress bearing the trend and tradition of the

ICS. During Pakistan era, only unmarried women were entitled to get jobs only in four

services mostly related to accounts. The main intention behind this was to keep women

confined mostly to desk-bound jobs. Because during this period it was believed that, the

females were not suitable for such jobs which called for extensive field visits and

inspection, maintenance of law and order and collection of revenues (Chowdhury,

1969:105). So women would not be suitable to perform at field levels or in administrative

cadres. It was clearly mentioned in the Recruitment Rules of the Civil Services that

women will be considered only, for four services namely, 1) Audit and Accounts Service,

2) Railway Accounts Service, 3) Military Accounts Service, 4) Income Tax and Postal

Services. Due to this decision that women could not serve with other cadres, various

important services like the Civil Services of Pakistan, the Pakistan Foreign Service and

many other Class I Civil Service were totally devoid of women. (Mahtab,1995:90).

In addition, the female candidates were recruited under the condition that they must

resign from the service after marriage or remarriage. The argument of the Pakistan

Government was that a married female would be unable to keep her skills up to the

standard level. By means of this Article of Recruitment Rules, educated women in

Pakistan were deprived of their basic right to enter a profession. As a result a very

negligible number of women could enter the cadre service. (Mahtab,1995:90)

07. Recommendation:

The following steps should be taken to ensure equitable representation of women in the

civil service.

Reservation of female quota in BCS was introduced to bring women into the

mainstream of civil service. But it was found that, the existing female quota are

not fully utilized in many recruitments. Hence emphasis should be given for the

full utilization of the quota.

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The distribution of posts under female quota should be separately reserved

without affecting the district quota, so that qualified women from the same

district have enough opportunity to get jobs under the quota system. This will

help to fill the female quota (kashem et. al., 2002:108)

Seniority requirements may be relaxed in promoting capable women to the top

positions in the various cadres of civil service. Enforcement of female quota at

the lateral entry level through promotion or recruitment of suitable women into

the top administrative positions may improve the situation.

To fulfill the female quota, more emphasis should be given to quality of female

education. Low mobility and poor access to the information network are

responsible for the lack of general knowledge among women which results in

high female drop-out rate at BCS preliminary examination (Table-5). The

females should be exposed to more formal and informal education.

The participation of women in BCS Examination from the rural areas is minimal

due to limited educational opportunity and the inability and social prejudices of

the parents in allowing them to continue on to higher education. On the other

hand, the female students are not interested in science and technical education.

All these issues need to be investigated in detail to undertake steps to improve the

situation. The education sector needs proper planning to conduct their academic

activities in conformity with the needs of the job.

One of the most important problem preventing females from entering and

continuing jobs in the civil service is the separation of women from family due to

transfers. It is therefore recommended that before the appointment or transfer of

both males and females, the respective. organizations have to seek options and

make special arrangements to post spouses together at the same station or

somewhere nearby.

Efforts should be made by the government to set up career women.s hostel and

residential facilities so that women feel secure and can continue their jobs.

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Unless the women officers find a healthy and supportive environment in the work

place, it will be difficult for them to make the expected contribution. To improve

the working environment for women in government services the following

suggestions are recommended.

1) To maintain necessary privacy in offices, the physical layout of different

offices should be improved with provisions for separate office-rooms,

rest-rooms and toilets.

2) Day care centers should be made available in or around workplace.

3) Availability of transport should be expanded for female officers.

4) Superiorofficers should ensure that women are not discriminated in giving

responsibilities.They should take appropriate steps to create a democratic

environment in offices and to ensure effective participation of

all,particularly women in decision making ( Bhuiyan, 1996:31).

There should be restructuring and redistribution of domestic responsibilities to

tackle the problem of dual role of women as a house wife and a professional.

Males should be encouraged to share household activities.

Non cooperation of family members is one of the reasons why the majority of

female graduates do not choose government services as their career. On the other

hand family encouragement influences the decision of women for entering

government services. So family members should have a more cooperative attitude

to create opportunities and a cordial atmosphere to enable women to pursue a

career in civil service.

The state should recognize mother hood as a social obligation. Therefore

maternity leave should be extended to at least 6 months with full salary and

without a break in service.

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In order to create a positive social attitude towards women civil servants a big

publicity campaign should be launched through mass media as well as by holding

seminars, symposia etc on a regular basis.

The issue of gender and development should be integrated into different training

courses in such a manner so that, it helps to develop necessary awareness and a

positive attitude among all concerned regarding gender inequality and the desired

role of women in society (Bhuiyan, 1996 : 32).

An effective education and training policy and corresponding strategies should be

developed to motivate women to join the civil service.

Civil service must have a clear policy statement on gender equality and practices

encompassing recruitment, promotion, transfer and career development, leave

entitlement and other conditions of service, gender behavior and mechanism of

grievance redress including appeals mechanism ( Islam, 2003 : 18)

08. Limitations:

Although efforts made to make the report was as comprehensive as possible,

nevertheless, the following limitations are identified at the time of preparing the report:

We worked under a limited time passage. A lot of information regarding industry,

economy, and company are required. We have put our optimum effort to formulize the

available information. Many analytical techniques and tools are needed to apply to get

appropriate result but due to our lack of practical knowledge our analysis may not be a

highly efficient one.

09. Conclusion:

Gender streaming in BCS has already found a place in our policy agenda. Attitudinal

changes of people supported by various policy decisions of the government are widening

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the horizon of women.s participation in the civil service. But this is not enough. Female

participation in the civil service has not reached the desired stage. Unfortunately women

are not being able to enter cadres according to the rate and number they should have

been. The role of female officials in policy formulation or in influencing the policy is

very small, as most of the females belong to the lower levels of the services. Without a

massive influx of women in the decision making ranks of the civil service women are

most likely to be sidetracked in the male dominated bureaucracy. With 10 percent quota

to entry point and no guarantee of promotion to top ranks, women are not likely to reach

those ranks (Islam,2003:16). This situation needs to be changed. However, a pre-requisite

in this regard is the immediate employment of women at the highest executive level of

administration which in turn will play effective role in forming gender balanced

employment policy of the government (Khan,1995:83). It is also essential to ensure that,

the overall working environment and facilities provided to the female officers are

sufficient and congenial for continuing the services and for attracting others to be

employed in various cadres of the civil service.

10. References:

Ahmed, Ali (1984). Bangladesh Public Administration and Senior Civil Servants.

Dhaka : Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre.

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Ahmed, S.G. (1986). Public Personnel Administration in Bangladesh. Dhaka : The City


Ahmed, S.G. and Khan, M.M. (1990) .Bangladesh. in Subramaniam, V. (ed.) Public

Administration in the Third World. New York : Greenwood Press.

Bhuiyan, M.H. (1996). . Women in Administration : A study of the work Environment.

Empowerment, Vol 3, pp. 20 -33.

Bangladesh Public Service Commission (1998). Annual Report of Bangladesh Public

Service Commission. Dhaka : BPSC.

Bangladesh Public Service Commission (2004). Annual Report of Bangladesh Public

Service Commission. Dhaka : BPSC.

Chowdhury, M.A. (1969). The Civil Service of Pakistan. Dhaka : National Institute of

Public Administration.

Garrett, S. (1992). Gender. London : Routledge.

Government of Bangladesh (1998). The National Policy for the Advancement of Women.

Dhaka : Ministry of Women and Children.s Affairs, GOB

Government of Bangladesh (1998). The Constitution of Bangladesh. Dhaka. Haider, R.

(1995). A Perspective in Development : Gender Focus. Dhaka : University Press Limited.

HDC (2000), Human Development in South Asia 2000 : The Gender Question. Dhaka :

University Press Limited.

Huq, H. and Bala, H. (1987) Bangladesh Civil Service . e Mohila (Women in Bangladesh

Civil Service), Dhaka : Bangladesh Public Administration Training Center.

Islam, M. (2003). .Women in Power and Decision Making. in Khan, S. (ed). Role of

NGO in Effective Implementation of PFA and CEDAW in Bangladesh. Dhaka :

NGOCoalition on Beijing Plus Five. Bangladesh. pp. 1 -18.

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Kashem, M.M. et. al., (2002). Review of Quota Utilization Reserved for Women. Dhaka :

Ministry of Women and Children.s Affairs GOB

Khan, Salma (1988). The Fifty Percent : Women in Development and Policy in

Bangladesh. Dhaka : University Press Limited.

11. Group Activity:

Serial no Name ID 1st










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01 Md. Arif Hossain 10302005 ***

02 Nurul Habib


10302016 ***

03 Kazi Naima Sultana 10302028 *** ***

04 Faria Yeasmin 10302053 *** ***