KUWAIT CITY, June 4: Despite the absence of women in top positions of most sectors, there are many female employees in the governmental institutions.
This is what the capsized hierarchy reveals about the struggles faced by the Kuwaiti women. According to statistics issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the number of Kuwaiti employees in the public sector as of April 1 reached 252,580.
They constitute 74.52 percent of the total number of employees. Among them, male Kuwaiti employees constitute 29.93 percent and female employees 44.59 percent. This means, 60 percent of the Kuwaiti employees of the public sector are women. Some experts believe the crisis faced by Kuwaiti women in taking up leadership positions in the public sector is based on many factors.
They are mainly employed in education and health sectors, and “wasta” (connections) also plays a big role in selection of leaders. They also highlighted favoritism for male employees in most cases for leadership positions, stressing the fact that women resort to public sector employment is pushed by the emotional factor linked to women’s nature which seeks stability. Head of Kuwait’s Liberal Movement Iman Hayat explained that Kuwaiti women now excel in all fields.
They outshine their male counterparts in the university because, when a woman studies or works, she pays attention to details and ends up performing well. The problems Kuwaiti women suffer from could be a result of preplanned marginalization. She indicated that some parents enroll their girls in colleges of education so that they do not mix with boys.
Hayat insisted that it is high time for Kuwaiti women to take up all jobs without just focusing only on health and education sectors. She said women constitute the majority of employees in the public sector but the problem is the scarcity of women in leadership positions because of wasta and nepotism. On his part, Professor of Psychology at Kuwait University Dr Khader Al- Baroun said Kuwaiti women have been known for their excellence and their perseverance against difficulties.
He stressed that they stood side-byside with their male counterparts before the discovery of oil and the threshold of luxury life. Dr Al-Baroun indicated that the insistence of Kuwaiti women to work in the public sector is connected with the stability factor. He said the high number of women in the public sector also reveals that the number of women is more than men in the Kuwaiti society.
By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff