01/03/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has become aware of another discriminatory job advertisement published in a local newspaper on November 23 in the Bahawalpur district of Pakistan. According to local reports, the advertisement was paid for by the Government of Punjab’s Health Department and advertised five vacant job posts to be filled by 30 individuals.
According to the advertisement, 11 out of 30 vacancies were for sanitation work. The advertisement placed by the Health Department went on to request that, “Persons belonging to religious minorities will be given preference to fill out the vacant posts.”
Ashknaz Khokhar, a local peace activist, criticized the advertisement claiming it was, “Against Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which guarantees the equality of citizens.”
Speaking with ICC, Khokhar said, “These discriminatory practices create psychological effects for religious minorities. Authorities must look into this issue once and for all. Often government institutions revise their [discriminatory] advertisements after public pressure. However, this is not the solution. This policy has to be revised.”
Pakistani Christian experience widespread discrimination because of their religious identity. Due to this discrimination, many of Pakistan’s Muslim community consider Christians to be second class citizens fit only for menial and often dirty jobs. Over the generations, this discrimination has locked Pakistan’s Christian community into a cycle of poverty and underdevelopment. Discriminatory job postings calling for only Christians to apply for sanitation jobs only reinforces this discriminatory system.
According to a study by Open Doors USA, some 80% of the Punjab’s sanitation workforce identify as Christian. This is a drastic over-representation of the Christian community when one considers Christians only make up 1.6% of the country’s total population.
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