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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Civil service exams called too personal

By He Dan (China Daily)

09:10, March 21, 2012

An NGO aimed at fighting sexual inequality has called on authorities to scrap the "embarrassing procedures" women must go through during the civil service selection process.

In an open letter to three government departments on Monday, the Beijing Yirenping Center says female candidates currently must endure an intrusive gynecological examination and are questioned about their menstrual cycles.

"We believe that it's unnecessary to include complicated genital examinations for civil service employment, especially for women," said Yang Zhanqing, head of the organization's branch in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan province.

The request to change the procedure was addressed to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Administration of Civil Service, which are both responsible for the recruitment process, and the Ministry of Health.

Regulations on full-body physical examinations of civil service candidates were issued in 2005 and included genital checks for men and women. Candidates found to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV or syphilis, can be disqualified from the application process, according to the rules.

"It was disgusting," said Liang Hehuan, who went through the examination in January after applying for a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She spoke on the condition of using an alias.

"I remember lining up with many other women before the examination at a public hospital," said the 22-year-old Beijing university student. "I remember there was lots of pain."

She said she was told to fill in a form that asked about the date of her first menstruation and her menstrual cycle.

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