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Public Service to meet 50% women representivity by 2009

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Public Service to meet 50% women representivity by 2009

by Vivian Warby
07 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Public Service sector would reach its target of 50 percent women in senior management positions by March 2009, says Minister of Public Services and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

Research conducted by the Governance and Administration cluster found that women within the senior management service had increased from 8 percent in 1995 to 33 percent in 2007.

This was in response to Cabinet's request that the cluster reflects on the outcomes and impact of the implementation of the Programme of Action.

Speaking at the Governance and Administration cluster briefing on Tuesday Ms Fraser-Moleketi said that, although this was well below the target of 50 percent, by March 2009 she believed the 50 percent target could be met.

"We will be doing extensive work on this. For example, in August last year there was a Cabinet decision to include in performance contracts of Director Generals the increase in recruitment of women to senior positions."

Minister Fraser-Moleketi said that there were environmental factors, such as the lack of facilities conducive to breast feeding, for example, which prevented women from serving at a senior level.

She also believed that women of child-bearing age sometimes felt that they could not meet the big needs of senior positions which would have implications on parenting.

"Although we are gender sensitive in this country it is clear that parenting is still mostly the role of the women.

"But I believe that there were policy frameworks within place to ameliorate the 50 percent figure by next year," the minister said.

Representivity of the disabled was a place that continued to show slow and poor performance within the cluster.

People with disabilities constitute less than 0.2 percent of the total number of employees in the Public Service.

In 2002 people with disabilities comprised 0.11 percent of the Public Service and they have increased marginally between 2002 and 2007.

The figure currently stands at 0.17 percent. At the rate in which government employs people with disabilities, it appears as if the target of 2 percent will not be achieved by March 2010.

Minister Fraser-Moleketi said there were major interventions - specifically regarding disability via the Job Access Initiative.

"We need to develop a data base and we are working with the Office on Disability in The President's office in this regard," she said. - BuaNews

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