The Civil Service Commission says the government is taking urgent measures to address gender imbalance in its 300,000 workforce where the majority of employees are men.
Commissioner Stephen Ngwenya, who was standing in for chairperson, Mariyawanda Nzuwah, told parliament’s Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Committee, that the civil service has 145,511 male employees compared to 134,699 females.
Ngwenya said the commission is now taking measures to ensure that gender equality and balance is addressed as enshrined in the new constitution.
Ngwenya said women are now being preferred ahead of men in all promotional interviews as the civil service moves to redress the gender imbalance.
Ngwenya, however, said affirmative action for unqualified women is not good for women and Zimbabwe’s civil service.
He noted that most discrepancies in the civil service management was largely because senior employees in most parts of the country were not keen to leave their spouses and families and take up management posts in Harare where most of them are positioned.
Out of the 29 permanent secretaries in the civil service, 29 are men and only nine are women.
Out of the 587 management positions in the civil service, only 241 are occupied by females and the rest by men.
Ngwenya urged parliamentarians to encourage women in their constituencies to apply for posts in the civil service so that the commission can achieve gender equality and balance.
Responding to committee chairperson, Beatah Nyamupinga’s complains that there was abuse and discrimination against women when it came to promotions in the civil service, Ngwenya said the commission has instituted measures to curb that.
For example, he noted, no one will recruit workers alone. He said this is now being done by a committee of no less than six officials from different government departments but under the supervision of the civil service commission.
Ngwenya said those found violating civil service regulations will be punished.