The Balochistan Assembly has unanimously passed a bill seeking an end to violence against women at workplaces.
Dr Shamma Ishaq, the chairperson of the house standing committee on social welfare, women development and youth affairs, tabled the Women Harassment Bill 2016 in the house on Saturday.
Speaker Raheela Durrani presided over the assembly session. Dr Shamma tabled the bill in the assembly along with recommendations of her committee which was unanimously adopted by the house.
MPAs Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, Nasrullah Zere, Sardar Abdul Rehman Kethran, Dr Hamid Achakzai, Dr Ruqiya Hashmi and other legislators welcomed the new law and said it would help end violence against women at workplaces.
“For decades our women have been suffering violence at their workplaces, but such bold steps [the bill] will help put an end to brutalities against them,”Dr Shamma said.
“In the next phase the provincial government will introduce a helpline for women facing violence,” she added.
The house also unanimously passed a resolution demanding provision of information technology in consultation with the provincial government.
Provincial Minister Abdul Raheem Ziaratwal tabled the resolution jointly with MPAs Nasrullah Zere, Liaquat Agha, Manzoor Kakar, Majeed Achakzai, William Barkat, Spozmai Achakzai, Masooma Hayat and Arifa Siddique.
The resolution reads that the federal information technology ministry has been assigned the task to provide facilities in backward areas, including establishment of telecom projects, installation of broadband services mobile towers, laying optical fiber cables, tele-centers, provision of broadband facility at high schools and colleges, provision of IT facility to help NADRA in issuance of certificates pertaining to birth, death and marriage, verification of mobile phone SIM and installation of solar energy to run Internet service in case of non-availability of electricity.
The resolution says billions of rupees has been allocated but only 7% work of laying of fiber optic cables in Balochistan has been carried out thus far.
The resolution recommends the provincial government approach the federal government to make it mandatory for the federal IT ministry to consult the provincial government before executing projects in Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2016.