Violence against women a barrier to progress: minister

Govt will form a policy unit to review legislations

APP December 14, 2019

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Women Development Ashifa Riaz Fatyana said, on Thursday, the government is working to ensure the betterment of the socio-economic status of women through eliminating violence and discrimination against them.

The provincial minister said it while presiding over a consultative meeting to prevent violence against women and underage marriages organised by the Aurat Foundation at a local hotel.

She said that the government will form a strategic policy unit to review legislations, service delivery, secretarial planning and implementation of laws to provide relief to the women.

Punjab’s first digital magazine “Aurat Baaikhtiaar” was also published by the Women Development Department in April, while its next edition is also ready for online publication, she told the attendees of the consultation.

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The minister assured that the fund has been released to 16 hostels in the 12 districts of Punjab for the renovation of their premises, while a Working Hostel Authority would be established through public-private partnerships for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regulatory policies.

She further stated that procedures have been streamlined to ensure merit-based equal employment opportunities for women in all departments.

“The cabinet has also reviewed and passed a law for the protection of labour rights of home-based workers,” she said, adding “We are also developing a network to facilitate the inclusion of women in the workforce to secure their socio-economic status.”

Deputy Secretary Planning Women Development Waqar Ahmad briefed the minister about the important development matters taken up by the department.

Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Uzma Kardar, MPA Sadia Sohail, National Commission for Human Rights Provincial Coordinator Mohammad Khalid, secretary labour department and other members of the civil society were present in the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2019.

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