Delay in test results, job conditions hinder motherhood

The job seekers hold a human chain today in front of Directorate General of Family Planning at Karwan Bazar demanding final result of FWV post
Prothom Alo

Recruitment process in 1,080 posts of family welfare visitor (FWV) of the family planning directorate under the health and family welfare is yet to be completed in over three and half years.

Although written exam and viva voce have been conducted, the final result is not published.  The Family Welfare Visitor post is for only women. Some 7,621 candidates are waiting for the final results and most of them are married. One of the conditions for getting appointed to this post is that the finally selected candidate has to submit a certificate of physical fitness and no pregnancy by the district civil surgeon office. If the candidate is pregnant, the appointment will be cancelled. 

The candidates who are waiting for the final result say that job circular for this post was published in 2020. Many candidates were not married when they applied; but now almost all candidates had been married in the past three and a half years. Some have been married for three to four years. Final results can publish any time. Under this circumstance, the female candidates are afraid of having child. Because the job circular stated that the candidates with pregnancy at the time of joining cannot. Motherhood has now become an impediment in their way of getting the job.

The job seekers hold a human chain today in front of Directorate General of Family Planning at Karwan Bazar demanding final result of FWV post. Hundreds of job seekers from all over the country participated in the human chain demanding that the final result in the recruitment test is published within the next seven days. 

A candidate named Noor Asma (pseudonym), who participated in the human chain, said the candidates have been many problems due to procrastination in the recruitment process. Many candidates have to refrain from becoming mothers due to the condition.

She said many candidates apprehend they will face various problems in having children in future as they get older.

A participant on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo, "Article 29 (1) of the Constitution says that there will be equal opportunities for all citizens in terms of employment or getting a position in the work of the Republic. But here we are being discriminated against because we are women, whereas the authorities should have completed the recruitment process quickly considering the empowerment of women.”

The recruitment circular was published on 10 March, 2020 for the recruitment of 1,080 vacancies of family welfare visitor. Only women candidates had the opportunity to apply for these posts, who after 18 months of training were supposed to be engaged in field level union health and family welfare center, maternal health, child health, reproductive health including family planning, nutrition, pregnant mothers including general patients.

The written exam was held last February in total 46 districts across the country. Around 350,000 candidates took part in the written examination. Out of these 7, 621 were selected for the viva voce examination.

At that point, allegations of corruption in written examination surfaced against the recruitment committee. A new recruitment committee was formed later which took viva voce through 5 boards from 22 May to 18 June.

An official of the Directorate of Family Planning, on condition of anonymity, told Prothom Alo that the secretary of the ministry dissolved the previous committee and formed a new committee for viva voce after the results of the written examination were published. A total of five viva boards were formed headed by an additional secretary. Each board consists of five members. Among them were one member of the public administration ministry, one member from Bangladesh Public Service Commission, two members from health education and family welfare department and one member from directorate of family planning.

Every day before the viva voce examination each board takes viva transparently by distributing roll numbers through lottery in the presence of newly appointed chairman of recruitment committee and presidents of five boards, he added.

The official also said that through the new recruitment committee, candidates have completed the viva voce examination and the results were prepared and sent to health ministry. It is not known why the final result is not being published.