Cyprus Mail

More women than men in government

Despite female workers outnumbering male colleagues, a campaign is underway to encourage more in higher places

By Evie Andreou

FEMALE civil servants are almost double in number than their male colleagues, according the annual report for 2014 of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The report said that by the end of last year, more than six out of ten civil servants were women. Of the 12,588 permanent job posts in the civil service, more than 8,000 are filled by women, it said.

With the exception of last year, when 14 men and seven women were hired for 21 permanent posts, since 2010, more women had been hired than men.

In 2010, the report said, the number of women hired by the civil service, around 680, was almost double that of men, while in 2011 almost two thirds of the 860 people hired were women. No hirings took place in 2013.

Successful candidates, the report said, are chosen based on merit gained from the results of their written and oral exams, previous experience and academic qualifications.

Civil service data agree with the European norm on female employment, since according to the latest survey of the European Commission, even though half of the EU’s population are women and female presence in the workforce reaches 60 per cent, women are underrepresented in decision-making positions in politics and in the business sector.

Despite the fact that Cypriot female civil servants outnumber their male counterparts, the country ranks fourth from last among EU countries in terms of female representation in the government, with a campaign underway to encourage greater participation of women in government and business.

According to the survey there are only three women permanent undersecretaries in the 11 ministries in Cyprus, and only one female member in the cabinet.

As regards education of civil servants, the majority, more than 4,600 have a university degree, and 22 per cent also hold postgraduate degrees. Around 2,800 civil servants are high school graduates and some 2,200 have completed post-secondary or college level education.

More than 3,400 permanent civil servants are posted at the finance ministry, followed by the health ministry which employs around 3,380, the report said. Around 1,000 civil servants work at the transport and communications, and the agriculture ministries respectively, while according to the report, the defence ministry has only 76.

In 2014, the PSC suspended 17 civil servants due to disciplinary or police investigation or prosecution. It also slapped a civil servant with a €1,000 fine and another with €2,500 and severe reprimands to both following their criminal convictions and imposed a penalty of compulsory retirement on a third state employee.

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