Abstract tries to carryout to present status of



The civil service is known as a
permanent government and prior an institutional mechanism to deliver the public
service to the people on behalf of government with extraordinary authority. It is frequently
the first choice of young university graduates in Nepal. There are still many
‘best-in-class’ men and women in the service. But public goods are not
commensurate to the expectations of the people of a new-found democracy
(Paudel,B). However, Civil service is
a part of the society it should reflect full diversity of society (Auluck,R,2001). Although, the Nepalese civil service has not long
history but it is
dominated by single cast, region and gender such as Brahmin, hilly region and
male respectively. Therefore, marginalized groups were excluded to represent in
civil service. Inclusion was the one of the main agenda of 10 years long civil
war (1996-2006) in Nepal. Government of Nepal has addressed the issues of
inclusion in its Interim Constitution, 2007. And the first time it was
introduced into civil service. The traditional requirement system was not any
fault, but neither could it address the social diversity nor increase ownership
in civil service. Even though, female population was almost 52%, but there was
only 8% female in civil service in 2007. Females and other marginalized group
were not encouraged to submit even application. But after the reservation
policy scenario of civil service has been changed. This paper tries to carryout
to present status of women’s representation in civil service and effectiveness
of reservation policy in Nepalese service. Research will be more qualitative by
using data from Nepalese authorities. There is separate quota
system but, paper focuses of policy impact on female.

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Key Words; Civil Service, Women’s participation, reservation














Nepal is the socially, culturally, ethnic, linguistic, ecologically and
geographically diversify country among the world. According to the
recent census 2011 country has categorized 125 castes as well as ethnic
communities, 123 in languages in Nepal out of 26.5 million populations composed of 52 % are female, 37.2 % Adibasijanjati 12.9 % Madhesi middle caste, 11.8 % Dalits, 4.3 %,
Muslims, 32.8 % Brahman/ Chhetri and other minority groups that comprise 1% of
the total population (CBS, 2011).


have a much longer history in Nepal as a socially disadvantaged group in the
eyes of the state. Generally inclusion of women in development continues to
fall into very specific gendered roles that often reinforce unequal access to
resources and institutions, particularly for poor and socially marginalized
women (L.
Bennett, 25).
According to the Nepal Living Standard Survey
(2010/11) has an adult literacy rate of 56.6%. However, the male and female
literacy rates stand at 71.6% and 44.5% respectively, pointing to a huge
disparity between the two genders. Therefore, development in any sector is not possible if more than half of the
population remains not represented in the mainstream of the state system.
However democratic system was established in 1990 but there were not any
fundamental characters to carry gender mainstreaming and inclusion. There were
only 8% women’s working as a civil servant (most of them were non-gazetted
level) almost 90 thousand employee’s civil service structure (DoCPR,Report


Nepal had lunched Interim constitutional in 2007
after 10 years long civil war. One of the fundamental agenda of civil war was
inclusion and representation of all the sector of government system. It
establishes the federal, democratic,
republican system from unitary monarch. It was a first inclusive constitution
with fundamental characters of inclusive democracy that ensured 33% women’s
representation in interim parliament. In this context, Article 13(3) of the
Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 mentioned that “…provide that especial
provisions for women, Dalits, ethnic, Madheshi, farmers, workers, may be made
by law for the protection, empowerment and advancement of the interests of
children, the aged or those who are physically or mentally incapacitated or
those who belong to a class which is economically, socially and culturally


According to the mandatory provision of interim
constitution of Nepal 2007; the government of Nepal has launched its inclusive
policy first in civil service because civil service is the pioneer service in
Nepal. Other public services were guided by it. Civil servants are selected by competitive
examination which is conduct by Public Service Commission, a constitutional
body of Nepal. Public service commission of Nepal formally introduced
reservation system in 2007 in civil service and soon later also introduced in
other public service like police service, military service, and public enterprise
service accordingly.



1.1 Objective of the


The civil service is known as a permanent government and prior
an institutional mechanism to deliver the public service to the people on
behalf of government with extra ordinary authority. It has been defined under
the Directive Principles and Policies of the State in the Constitution of
Nepal, 2015. The main purpose of the civil service is pursing role as a bridge
between government and people and serves public goods to fulfill the public
needs. It carries out the political objective in real ground by its permanent institutional
mechanism and specialization. Major role of the government is to deliver the
effective services to the people according to their demands and needs in a
speedy, efficient and effective manner Constitution of Nepal, 2015.


Civil service of
Nepal has almost 60 years history. In the past civil servants and bureaucrats
were appointed by kings and their councilors. Nepal
has been a unitary state ever since the unification of the principalities of
the country. The bureaucracy was under the control of the then ruling family
and the people close to them used to be appointed in almost all key positions
of the public service (Avasti, Adhikari page 5). It was based on
caste and family kinship system those who were belongs higher caste
stratification and has connection with royal family and their family members
had directly join the civil service by word. 
Historically it was dominated by single cast, region and gender such as
Brahmin, hilly region and male respectively. As the result the other peoples of
the society were automatically excluded to represent in civil service. Civil service is a part of the society it should
reflects full diversity of society (Auluck,Randhir 2001).


State belongs to its entire citizen. This is why it
has to create such a conducive environment. Where every kind of citizens’ right
are secure and they can freely exercise their opportunities. People feel
justice when they get equal access to power, resource and opportunity created
by the state (Dhakal,D page 1).
The legal set up of the state to carry the disadvantaged and marginalized
groups such as women, ethnic minorities, Dalits, disabled, etc in state affair.
Who are socially deprived, economically marginalized and politically excluded
into the governing system. The main aim of this paper is analyzes how legal set
up enhance women’s capacity and how to motivate to participate public service
examination. The
objective of this study is to find out; to the extent the reservation policy
initiated by the government of Nepal has squarely address the problems of gender
exclusion in civil service of Nepal.



1.2 Methods and material used:


Secondary data has been used in this paper. The data were
collected from Public service commission of Nepal yearly reports from 2002 to
2016, Department of civil servant personal records (DoCPR), Nepal Living Standard
Survey (NLSS) 2010-2011, Population and Housing Census 2011 by Nepalese Central
Bureau of Statistics, and Personnel Information System (PIS) of Government of


This paper is based on qualitative and descriptive analysis
methods. It focuses on female participation in Nepali civil service and analyzes
the attraction on civil service. Female population has more than 50% and it was
nominally counted in Nepalese civil service.


1.3 Limitations


is separate quota system to female, geographically backward region, and
marginalized group. The second amendment of Civil service Act 1992 has clearly mentioned
the quota for each group. However, the paper only focuses of policy impact on
female because of its limitation.



Policy and
Legal Provisions for Inclusive Civil Service


has taken progressive steps toward greater gender equality and inclusion
through planned development. Exclusion has
been a cause and result of unequal development in Nepal. The incidence of
poverty in the country has decreased, but poverty rates among excluded groups
continue to be higher than the national average. Development outcomes across
all sectors show that gender, caste, ethnicity, geographical location, regional
identity, and economic status are strong determinants of access to services,
resources, and political representation (ADB, 2010).
The country
has been followed the inclusive policy in Constitution of Nepal, 2015 to bring
the women and marginalized group in national life. One of the causes of civil
war (1996-2006) was also to establishment equality, equity and justice to
Nepal. It is clearly written in the preamble of the constitution that “….Ending all forms
of discrimination and oppression created by the feudalistic, autocratic, centralized,
unitary system of governance, Protecting and promoting social and cultural
solidarity, tolerance and harmony, and unity in diversity by recognizing the
multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural and diverse
regional characteristics, resolving to build an egalitarian society founded on the
proportional inclusive and participatory principles in order to ensure economic
equality, prosperity and social justice, by eliminating discrimination based on
class, caste, all the form of caste-based untouchability, region, language,
religion and gender, and Being committed to socialism based on democratic norms
and values including the people’s competitive multiparty democratic system of
governance, civil liberties, fundamental rights, human rights, adult franchise, periodic elections, full freedom of the press,
and independent, impartial and competent judiciary and concept of the rule of
law, and build a prosperous nation”. State guaranteed the special treatment for
women and marginalized group. Similarly there is also a provision in article 18
of constitution “…Provided that nothing shall be deemed to prevent the making
of special provisions by law for the protection, empowerment or development of
the citizens including the socially or culturally backward women, Dalit,
indigenous people, indigenous nationalities, Madhesi, Tharu,
Muslim, oppressed class, Pichhadaclass, minorities, the marginalized,
farmers, labours, youths, children, senior citizens, gender and sexual
minorities, persons with disabilities, persons in pregnancy, incapacitated or
helpless, backward region and indigent Khas Arya. (Article 18, Right to Equality)


The fundamental characters of inclusion were introduced by Interim
Constitution, 2007 and these provisions are also carried in Constitution of
Nepal 2015. Reservation policy was introduced in 2007 in civil service act 1992
by its second amendment 2007, which are the spirit of interim constitution
2007. The provision of the Act states that 55 per
cent of the seats of total vacant seats will be for open competition while the
rest of the 45 per cent seats would be allotted for the reservation based on
the gender, caste and ethnicity, Dalits, backward areas, Madheshi, and
disability. Again, assuming 45 per cent seats allotted for reservation as 100
per cent, 33 per cent seats are reserved for women, 27 per cent seats for
ethnicity, 22 per cent seats for Madheshi, 9 per cent seats for Dalit, 5 per
cent seats for the disabled and 4 per cent seats for backward areas. Similarly civil service
act, 1992 defined that Public service
commission (PSC) should separate the quota of the vacant post for each
reservation category and publish its advertisement separately.


Government is the biggest employer and most of the young
university graduates have interest to enter the civil service. A civil servant
has legitimate authority of the state and serves on behalf of government. It is
believed that the bureaucrat has maximum intelligence and capacity. It’s also
true because there are still many competent men and women in the service. The policy
tried to make representative by following the quota system as like similar
nature of the society. It was taken as opportunity to reform agenda of public


The policy divided the quota to make sure representation of
gender, caste and ethnicity. However it also has risk exclusion. “The
problems/issues regarding these excluded groups have been identified as:
Poverty, Marginalization from mainstream development, discrimination,
under-representation in politics and bureaucracy and lack of competent power.
Similarly, Culture, language and religion are not adequately protected. Most
are affected by the conflict, Women have been always kept out of decision
making process and lack share in property and other resources. Nepal initiated
different kind of policies so as to solve the problems of social exclusion. One
of the prominent steps was abolition of slavery in 1934. Some major initiatives
are targeted to promote equality, participatory development, social security, and
positive discrimination, reservation on government employment, local
development, and targeted program, gender budgeting and end of discrimination.
In order to increase participation in civil service, government introduced
reservation system, with second amendment of Civil Service Act, for women,
Ethnic groups, Madhesi, Dalit, Disabled, and the people belonging to remote
areas. Despite all these efforts, the impact has not been realized
significantly. Therefore, political and bureaucratic representation of these
marginalized communities has been very low as compared to their proportion in population”.
( Dhakal, D page 2)



of policy


The World Bank report (2013)
indicates that approximately 52 per cent of total population in Nepal is female
where the percentage of women politicians in parliament is 33 percent. For
Nepalese political change, it is considered as a remarkable growth, from 6 per
cent in 1990, and the percentage is highest amongst South Asians Association
for Regional Cooperation nations (World Bank 2013). Nepal has remarkably
progress in the inclusive state.  First time in the history, country had got woman in supreme
position, President of Nepal, chief justice of the Supreme Court and speaker of
the parliament. That is great achievement
towards making inclusive state.


 3.1 Representation in political institution


In 2008 the first Constituent Assembly (CA) election were
held and 30% women’s were elected according to the provision of Interim
Constitution of Nepal 2007 by using First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) and proportional
representative system among 601 members. Constituent Assembly (CA) representatives
who were elected make constitution for a newly created federal republic but
they cannot able give new constitution within given timeline and it was
dissolved in 2012 and had another CA election 2012 under the provision of
Interim Constitution. At that time female members were elected 29% among CA
representatives. One of the fundamental rights drafted in interim constitution
is ‘Rights of Women’ where no one shall be discriminated in any form merely
being a woman (Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007.)



(Source: Record Nepal.com,2017)


The constitution of federal
republic of Nepal 2015 was promulgated by second constitution assembly. There are
lots of provisions whose ensure the participation of women in parliament to
local government. It ensures the 33% women representation in central government and
40.4% in local government. There are clearly written that president and vice
president should be in different gender. The Government of Nepal
(GoN) has held the local government election in 2017 under the constitution of
Nepal. Which elections was held include 460 Rural Municipalities, 276
Municipalities, 11 Sub- Metropolitan Cities and 6 Metropolitan Cities and the
result in at least 13,360 women being elected decision makers in 6,680 ward.



3.2 promoting competitiveness


Female’s candidates are showing their competency in public
service examinations. The number of women applicants has been on the rise for
the past five years even though the number compared to men was relatively lower
in the previous three years, according to the report. Despite the number of
women entering civil service increased in the past five years, however it was
not in order proportional ratio in selection compare to men applicant entered
civil service. Of the total applicants who passed the PSC exams in the last
fiscal, 38 percent were women.



: Public Service Commission Reports)


According to Annual Report 2015-16 of the PSC, thcre number
of women applicants for the civil service exams was 53.53 percent in the fiscal
year 2015-16 and 60.12 percent in 2014-15. “….application of reservation policy
has passed 10 years and public service commission recruited 33817 candidates to
appointment and 13695 are appointed from reserve category among them. There is
high rate of passed ratio of female candidate by open competition rather than
reserve quota” (PSC report 2017). Here
is a small piece of article which was published in Indian express, an Indian
popular newspaper, in 2016.





3.3 Participation in other public
service sector



Reservation similarly introduced in other public service
also like Nepal Army, Nepal Police, armed police force and Public enterprises.
Definitely armed jobs are more sensitive and physically challenging job but
however female candidate are highly attracted to do these job.  There are 8.02% women employees working in
Nepal police compared to 60070 in total in different position. 2 female
officers were served as ranked of additional Inspector General of police
(special class rank) and now 4 women are serving in first class, Senior Superintendent
of police(police mirror 2017).Similarly   Nepal army also has  policy for the management of women in uniform
continuously evolved through time. To address the issues of women officers
regarding career and welfare through one door policy, women division has been
established under the Military Secretary branch in 2010, headed by deputy MS
level officer. “Among the officers of the Nepalese Army, female officers in the
general service are 156 while the technical officer counts to 183. Junior
Commission, Non- Commission Female Officers and other ranks include 2535 in
general service and 786 in technical service. Now there are working as senior
rank for women officers have been T/Brigadier General (1) in the technical
service and Major (42) in the general service.” (Nepal Army Bulletin 2017)







study was conducted by Balanand Paudel on inclusion of civil service for
Ministry of General Administration; Prepare project to search active representation,
or administrative responsiveness in terms of addressing the concerns of the
segments of population being represented. Have the civil servants who represent
specific groups represented their specific needs as well? If yes, to what
extent have they been able to advocate such issues? These were very interesting
questions, the answers are only indicative, if not unknown. Generally, that was
misconception, civil servants with specific social backgrounds seem to be less likely
to articulate the concerns of their ‘constituencies’ but more likely to support
others who do so. Hence female employees find it easier to support arguments of
a male colleague who favors gender-friendly interventions rather than making
such arguments themselves. That is, of course the value of impartiality is
deeply rooted in the administration. Therefore, someone from a different group
speaks out; there is no fear of being labelled ‘biased’, ‘unprofessional’ or
‘communal’ even.



reservation in terms of compensation for past discrimination can also preclude more
fruitful discourses. No one is standing for compensation around here. All of us
are after something important to do in life, after developing ourselves to our
own potential, after realizing our own agency. (Paudel, B: pg: 25) Nepalese women are still discouraged to
participate in higher education and job. Obviously reservation of seats for
women helped contribute to the growth of women’s participation in the exams and
entry in to the civil service. But it is also due to the fact that women are
equally competent. However, women’s pass
percentage is lower compared to their applications. This is down to the fact
that women cannot give enough time to prepare for the exams compared to their
male counterparts.


But the growing number of women civil servants in the recent
years is expected to change the landscape of civil service in near future.
Currently, nearly 20 percent women have representation in civil service
compared to seven percent in 2007.According to the latest data of the
Department of Civil Personnel Records, 16,434 out of total 83,201 civil
servants are women. However, the number of women in first class and special
class of civil service is very limited. But it believes
there will be a lot more joint secretaries (first class officers) in the next
4-5 years that will make women’s appointment as secretary indispensable. The
growing presence of women in ministries, the writing is already on the wall
that there is bright future for women in civil