Women gain ground in civil administration

BSS, Dhaka

Like other women officials, Zakia Sultana, Chairman (Secretary), Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council, faced many problems when going to the field-level job at the time of her joining in the civil administration service in 1991 due to lack of transportation and safety.

But, now the situation has been changed and women are performing well at all levels of the civil administration. Their participation in the civil administration has been increasing day by day and they are playing a vital role in discharging their duties in line with the rules and regulations to uphold the country’s constitution.

“I started my journey as Assistant Commissioner and Magistrate of Narayanganj district in 1991. From childhood, I had a dream to work for the welfare of the people. As per the dream, I provided my full efforts. For my dedication, now I am in this position. But, the initial journey was not smooth as I am a female official,” Zakia Sultana said while sharing her experiences with BSS.

She said those problems have gone as the outlook of all towards the women has been changed significantly, and now female officials are performing as the field-level officials from the initial stage.

“Currently, huge numbers of women are joining not only in the administration cadre, but also all cadres. They are working in all field

level posts, including assistant commissioner of land, with better performance,” Zakia Sultana said.

She expressed the hope that the participation of women in the civil administration would raise further, saying the newcomer of the service is

playing a vital role through their honesty and hard work.

Under the dynamic and far-sighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, she said, the working environment of women officers has improved

considerably as a result of increasing the opportunities in the workplace of women officers and the cooperative attitude of male officers.

Talking to BSS, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of the Fulgazi Upazila under Feni district Ferdoushy Begum said now the civil administration service for

women in the field level is very comfortable than before and females are performing equally like their male colleagues as AC land, UNO or DC.

Now, people have changed their mindset and the female officials can work with the support of the local people, she added. Ferdoushy Begum lauded the government for taking initiatives to make women-friendly civil administration service.

Like Zakia and Ferdoushy, many other women in civil administration gave credit to the present government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on

women empowerment issue as her administration have taken many pragmatic and epoch-making steps for making the women-friendly administration service.

The number of female officials in the civil administration, especially at the field level, is increasing fast, giving a big boost to women

empowerment. At present, 1,447 women – 26.56 per cent of the total 5,447 – are working as Class-I Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) administration officers, said sources in the Public Administration Ministry. This figure was 22.56 per cent in 2018, the sources added.

Twelve women are working in as many ministries and divisions as secretaries or secretary in charge or Grade-1 post-the topmost post in the

civil administration. The female secretaries are Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) Zuena Aziz, Managing Director (Secretary) of the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority Hosne Ara Begum, Planning Commission Member (Secretary) Nasima Begum, Planning Commission Member (Secretary) Sharifa Khan, Economic Relations Division Secretary Fatema Yasmin, BCS Admin Academy Rector (Secretary) Badrun Nessa, Chief Executive Officer (Secretary) of the Public Private Partnership Office Sultana Afroz, Bangladesh Public Service Commission Secretariat Secretary Asia Khatoon, Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Secretary Mosammat Hamida Begum, Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council Chairman (Secretary) Zakia Sultana, Social Welfare Secretary Mahfuza Akther and Food Secretary Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum.

There are also two female grade-one female officials, 61 female additional secretaries, 96 woman joint secretaries, 304 female deputy secretaries, 450 woman senior assistant secretaries and 450 female assistant secretaries. At least six female deputy secretaries are working as deputy commissioner while many female officials are working as additional deputy commissioner (ADC), UNO and assistant commissioner of land.