PESHAWAR: Members of Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) from Islamabad visited the Jalozai IDP camp in Nowshera district on Thursday.
Five representatives from the WPC made a charity trip to one of the nation’s largest camps for internally displaced persons (IDP) at Jalozai, 35 kilometres southeast of Peshawar, stated a handout issued on Friday. The women delegates visited the facilities of the Jalozai camp including a makeshift hospital and care centre for young children, teenagers and women.
They brought a wide range of relief donations to the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) who then distributed the goods among IDPs living in the congested refugee camp.
The purpose of the visit was to show solidarity with the struggling displaced population and extend a helping hand to women and children who have been forced out of their homes. In November 2013, Jalozai residents protested against the government demanding provision of more tents and warm blankets for winter. In recent days, IDPs and refugees living in Jalozai camp have held further protests demanding the provision of basic essentials, including electricity and water.
The WPC’s donations included medicines, blankets, tents and warm clothes to help IDPs cope with the remaining winter months.
A large number of donations were collected from women MPs, said Danish Ali Bhutto, WPC Programme and Coordination Officer.
Bhutto told The Express Tribune this was the second visit of this kind in the last five months. He added that the WPC intends to increase charitable visits to IDP camps in conjunction with the FDMA within the next month or two and will continue to collect goods from MPs for donations.
The WPC is a government body comprising 93 female members from five of the major political parties in Pakistan.
It was founded in 2006 under the recommendation of the United Nations Development Programme to elevate the status of women within the Parliament and thereby promote gender equality at the local level.
The WPC has passed two bills on gender equality which are now acts of Parliament, including the bill on domestic violence and the bill on sexual harassment. Among the WPC delegates visiting Jalozai were Secretary-General MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik and MNAs Aisha Syed, Dr Fauzia Hameed, Asiya Naz Tanoli and Amra Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2015.
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