Bhutan: Indian construction firm defends its decision not to employ women

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Article
24 August 2009

Safety concerns obviate female employment [Bhutan]

Author: Gyalsten K Dorji, Kuensel Online [Bhutan]

The Hindustan construction company (HCC)...has denied following any gender discriminatory employment policies...The company recently made headlines when it said that it would not recruit female wet sweepers....on safety and security reasons...Observers in the country remain divided on the issue. Some point out that female employees could be vulnerable to sexual harassment and abuse by male workers, who are away from their families...The labour department is still waiting for a reply from HCC to an official inquiry regarding the rejection of the list containing female wet sweeper applicants.

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Article
5 August 2009

Ladies need not apply [Bhutan]

Author: Gyalsten K Dorji, Kuensel Online [Bhutan]

The labour ministry recently submitted a list, containing both male and female applicants, to the [Hindustan] construction company for 15 vacancies in the wet sweeper category...HCC rejected the list on the grounds that it was against company guidelines to employ women. An HCC representativepointed out that, since HCC would be involved in constructing tunnels...it was preferable not to employ women. ...“We will not tolerate such rules,” said the labour minister, Lyonpo Dorji Wangdi. He said that Bhutanese employment law does not discriminate against gender...The national commission for woman and children (NCWC) executive director, Rinchen Chophel, said the NCWC classified this as a case of discrimination. [also refers to Druk Green Power Corporation, Larsen & Toubro, Gammon India]

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