‘More women should occupy senior posts in public sector’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MORE women should occupy leadership positions in the public sector, a Legislative Council (LegCo) member said yesterday.
Speaking during the 12th session of LegCo, Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hjh Zasia Sirin said that women hold just 269, or 30 per cent, of ‘Division 1’ posts in the government, compared to 615 positions, or 70 per cent, for men.
“The percentage of female civil servants in the government is almost equal to the number of male civil servants. However, most women work in mid-level positions, and only a small number of women are entrusted to hold higher level jobs,” she said during her vote of thanks, which is traditionally given at the end of LegCo proceedings each year.
Comparatively, for ‘Division 2’ posts, female officers outnumber male officers at 6,164 to 3,691.
“With excellent performance, dedication and potential among female officers, it is hoped that they will also be given the opportunity to be promoted to senior positions in government,” said YB Datin Hjh Zasia.
“Because women in higher positions of responsibility will not only help highlight issues related to women, family and community, but they will also play an equal role to men in charting the progress and welfare of the Bruneian nation and people.”
The LegCo member said free education has given men and women equal opportunity to provide development and pros-perity to the country, “whether it’s in the public sector, private sector, as a member of the community, or as a wife or mother at home.”
She added that women in higher education far outnumber men – at a ratio of 2:1, according to the most recent statistics.
Citing a Quranic verse, YB Datin Hjh Zasia, who served as head of the Islamic Da’wah Centre before she retired from government service, said: “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and they establish prayer and give _zakat _and obey Allah and His Messenger.”
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015, which measures the level of disparity between men and women, the sultanate ranks 88 out of 145 countries.
Brunei has a near perfect score for gender parity in education and health, and also ranks highly in women’s participation in the economy, but has a score of zero for political empowerment, owing to the absence of female ministers in the Cabinet.
The Brunei Times