SOURCE: The New Times

Women account for a far smaller percentage of job applicants than men in public service, the lower chamber of Parliament has exposed. It called for an inquiry into the matter to understand the underlying reasons and what could be the appropriate response. 

It was resolved on March 13, adopting an analysis report from its Committee on Social Affairs. 

The report resulted from an analysis that the Committee made of the National Public Service Commission’s activity report for the financial year 2022/2023 and action plan for 2023/2024.

In the resolution, the Lower House requested the Prime Minister, through the Gender Monitoring Office, to carry out a study intended to understand why the number of women who apply for jobs is very small compared to that of men. 

MP Odette Uwamariya, the Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, said that the report of the National Public Service Commission (NPSC) indicated that of 465,619 people who applied for jobs in 2022/2023, men were 347,403 equivalent to 74.6 percent, while women were 118,216, accounting for 25.4 percent. 

Meanwhile, she said that the success rate in recruitment exams was the same for both men and women – estimated at eight percent of applicants.

A similar issue, she pointed out, was identified by a report of the previous financial year [2021/2022]. 

To address the problem, she said, NPSC recommended that a study should be conducted to know the factors underlying the issue, and what should be done to deal with it.

While analyzing why NPSC did not carry out the study, Uwamariya said, it explained that it once planned to do it but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said that there are entities in charge of gender equality principle observance that can do it. 

This made the Committee have discussions with the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) so that lawmakers understand what it thinks of the NPSC recommendation. 

Uwamariya indicated that the Chief Gender Monitor indicated that they agreed with the findings of NPSC and also pointed out that though there was no problem in the selection of job applicants and winners, the number of female job seekers was smaller than their male counterparts. 

Also, she said, it was observed that unpaid care work takes more of a woman’s time than that of a man – both in rural and urban areas. 

She pointed out that the Chief Gender Monitor indicated that research should be done to hear from employers or employees about the issue and that GMO can do a study within the first six months of the next fiscal year [2024/2025]. 

“The Committee realizes that if a study is carried out, it can further provide information that can lead to making appropriate decisions,” Uwamariya said.

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