Women civil servants under more stress

National 1 minute, 42 seconds


WOMEN civil servants are more likely to admit that they are stressed than their male counterparts, said an occupational health expert at Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) yesterday.

According to a report published two years ago, Bruneian women civil servants were found to be under more stress, compared to male civil servants.

The Health Promotion Centre’s (HPC) Integrated Health Screening and Health Promotion Programme among Civil Servants 2007-2011 showed that Bruneian female civil servants were found to be under more stress with a prevalence rate of 54.1 per cent, compared to male civil servants with stress prevalence of 44.7 per cent.

A total of 21,437 civil servants from 12 government ministries in the sultanate were screened during the period, as part of the HPC’s screening programme.

While the report did not state the causes behind the participants’ stress, Dr Nayake Balalla said several factors could have led to the result.

He said women are more likely to admit that they are stressed while men are reluctant to express such feelings.

“Men tend to deny and inhibit such feelings compared to women,” said the occupational health expert.

Dr Balalla also highlighted that women are more prone to stress because of the multiple-role women are expected to play.

“Women need to balance work and family matters, so overall stressors for women are more,” said the health expert.

He said while women are more likely to experience psychological distress, men tend to experience more physical strain.

Symptoms of stress include persistent headaches, gastric problems, poor concentration, anxiety and irritability.

In a separate interview with a clinical psychologist at the Ministry of Health, Hjh Rozailah Hj Abd Rahman said that stress can also lead to the development of depression.

While she was unable to comment on why female civil servants are more likely to be stressed compared to male civil servants, Hjh Rozailah said several factors can influence stress.

“It could be financial, work, family or health. It depends on the individual and it depends on how they respond to stress,” she said.

The Brunei Times