Disabled Civil Servants Talk About Their Goals, Aspirations, and Challenges

My only goal is to reach the High Council of the Attorney General’s Office

At the young age of two, she lost her both legs to polio but never her hope for life. Mushtari Danish, a law master’s degree student, was hired by one of the most prestigious government agencies in accordance with the Procedure on Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities in Civil Service. She successfully performs her daily duties.
Ms. Danish, while thanking the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for recruiting a number of persons with disabilities and lauding the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) for allotting a certain percentage of the vacant civil service positions for persons with disabilities, said that disability is not inability or weakness, if persons with disabilities who make a large part of the society are provided with opportunity, they too will achieve great things.

“At the beginning of my employment, most of my co-workers and visitors did not believe in my ability and expertise. They thought my appointment was out of pity. When I realized that, I changed that mindset with hard work, and proved myself as a successful employee,” she added.
Ms. Danish, who now serves as a prosecutor in the Directorate Combating Violence against Women, which she thinks is not enough. And so, with her knowledge and soaring self-confidence she pursues bigger goals. She says her only goal is to reach the High Council of the Attorney General’s Office (which is the highest decision-making body in the AGO) and is trying to get the council’s membership at the earliest opportunity.

She sighs as she is asked “what challenges she faces in the office?” and then, with a smile on her face, gives the most realistic answer possible: “Every moment of a person with disability’s life is full of problems, but I accept that we have to be resilient and fight the challenges.”

Ms. Danish describes the absence of elevators as the biggest problem for persons with disabilities in the Attorney General’s Office, and says that it is very difficult for her to follow up on duties and get to the upper floors of the office building.

She does not talk much about the many problems a person with a disability faces and sees the so-called half-full glass, an attitude that has led to her success and progress. Not only is Ms. Danish not financially dependent on anyone, but she also helps her family financially and pays for the education of one of her sister who is studying at a private university.

Mushtari Danish, disabled by polio at the age of two, started her career as teacher in a private school when she was 23, but, with hard work and great passion for being a prosecutor, she got a job in the AGO through three percent share allotted to persons with disabilities by law.

Khaterah supports her family financially

Khaterah Safi is also disabled from both legs and is forced to walk with crutches. However, the disability has never hindered her progress. After graduating from law school, she works for the Attorney General’s Office as a primary prosecutor for combating violence against women.

Khaterah was a fourth grade student when she lost her legs due to sever fever. She also does not see disability as a weakness or inability and says that disability is not an obstacle but a reason for progress in her life. She says: “in our family, women are not allowed to study or work outside the house but due to my disability, I was allowed to study and get a job.”

Answering the questions and concerns on how her coworkers and visitors see a woman with disability and if her duties are suitable with her physical condition, she adds calmly that there is always positive and negative views around them, but she welcomes positives and ignores negatives.

Khaterah was hired by the AGO through the three percent share of the civil service vacant positions allotted for persons with disabilities. She is now considered to be a successful employee at the AGO. On the other hand, she is not only a financially reliant on anyone, but also offers financial support to her family.

Khaterah wants to further her studies and get a master’s degree in law, as she said it herself: “to achieve more”.

I love to work

Ahmadullah Rashed was a first grade student when he lost his right hand and left finger in a landmine explosion. After the explosion, Rashed’s friends, acquaintances and even school teacher thought that he would not be able to attend school continue his education due to his disability. However, his father did not lose hope and enrolled him in school for a second time. Mr. Rashed continued his education until he finished his undergraduate studies.

Rashed now serves as a prosecutor in the AGO. He says, with a sweet accent, that his disability has never been cause for weakness and inability, but in a way, has been a factor for his success and progress in life. He adds that he has worked hard to achieve goals and has never allowed hardships and obstacles to prevent him from moving forward and achieving his aspirations.

Rashed says: “I love to work and serve my people in any capacity, through whatever means.”

Unemployment is the biggest challenge facing persons with disabilities

Born with an eye disability, this civil servant graduated from law school through hard work and was appointed to an important position in the AGO which had 170 other candidates. This civil servant spoke on the condition of anonymity due security threats, says that disability is not inability or an obstacle for them. They say they have always tried to strive for better in life without focusing much on their disability.

While appreciating the AGO for allotting a certain quota for hiring persons with disabilities, they add that this agency has done its moral responsibility by employing a large number of persons with disabilities. They also called on other agencies to recruit a number of persons with disabilities by allotting a certain quota to this social group.

They believe that one of the biggest challenges persons with disabilities face is not being hired in the government agencies and add: “After much hard work and enduring hardships to get an education, unfortunately, many government agencies are not willing to hire persons with disabilities. They say unemployment is the biggest challenge facing this social group.”

Share of persons with disabilities should increase in the civil service sector

Abdul Habib Safi also considers unemployment as the biggest challenge facing persons with disabilities and says that due to the ongoing war and bad security situation, the number of persons with disabilities is increasing every year, and unemployment is one of the main challenges which has traumatic impact on this social group.

Abdul Habib Safi, whose left leg is disabled due to polio disease, is a law school graduate, who was hired by the AGO as a prosecutor at the Directorate of West Zone, through free competition based on the three percent share of the civil service vacant positions allotted for persons with disabilities. He is pleased that he has been hired at the AGO with legal support and calls on the IARCSC to increase the share of persons with disabilities in the civil service.

The Attorney General’s Office has recruited 70 persons with disabilities, which includes 60 men and 10 women, in accordance with the Procedure on Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities in Civil Service. Based on the numbers provided by the AGO, out of a total of 70 people, 40 were recruited in the center and 30 in the provinces.

The Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) has developed the Procedure on Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities in Civil Service, in accordance with the article 22 of the Law of Rights and Privileges of Persons with Disabilities, based on which all government agencies and ministries are required to allot three percent of their vacant positions for persons with disabilities.

Also, according to this procedure, if the competition is between candidates which have disabilities and candidates which do not, the Exams Committee is required to consider privilege points for eligible candidates with disabilities–five privilege points for candidates of third grade and fourth grade positions and three privilege points in for candidates of first grade and second grade positions.