Commission on the Status of Women gets an office

Speakers at inauguration ceremony stress coordination between govt and civil society on women issues


Our Correspondent November 30, 2017
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KARACHI: The office of the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women (SCSW), the legal body for the promotion of social, economic, political and legal rights of women in the province, has been established on the fourth floor of the Old Karachi Development Authority Building in the Sindh Secretariat. The inauguration ceremony of the office was held on Wednesday.

The establishment of the SCSW office was facilitated the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) under the project 'Policy Advocacy and Research to Strengthen Implementation of Pro-Women Legislation and GBV Response Services in Sindh', supported by Trócaire and the Australian government.

The Sindh Commission on the Status of Women Bill, 2015 was passed by the Sindh Assembly on April 6, 2015, and became an Act on May 12, 2015.

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It stipulated that the government must constitute a commission, the SCSW, to exercise the powers conferred upon it and to perform the functions assigned to it under the Act. The commission was supposed to take steps for promoting social, economic, political and legal rights of women as provided in the Constitution and international declarations, conventions, treaties and agreements relating to women, including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the SCSW office bearers, MPAs, secretaries of the women development, home and social welfare departments, members of civil society and representatives of Trócaire and the Australian High Commission.

Speaking at the ceremony, SPO Chief Executive Saleem Malik appreciated civil society and the government's  efforts for empowering women which eventually led to the formation of the SCSW.

Sharing her views, SPO Programme Manager Shazia Shaheen said the SCSW was a legal body of high importance as it was founded to ensure that women in the province get their due by examining the laws and monitoring their implementation.

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Trocaire Programme Director Ishrat Jabeen and the Australian High Commission representative stressed the need for coordination between the government and civil society in order to resolve the issues of women .

SCSW Chairperson Nuzhat Shireen informed the gathering that the commission would develop and implement a three-year strategic plan in order to empower the vulnerable women in Sindh. The commission was aiming to make three to four model women-friendly districts in Sindh, Shireen said.

Women Parliamentary Caucus Convener Saira Shahliani highlighted the mutual areas of cooperation between the Women Parliamentary Caucus and SCSW for protecting women's rights guaranteed in the law.

The SCSW would facilitate pro-women legislation in the province, said Special Assistant to CM Irum Khalid.

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