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=> ISLAMABAD, Feb 11: The Senate standing committee o

ISLAMABAD, Feb 11: The Senate standing committee on women development on Monday recommended complete restructuring and revamping of the ministry of women development to make it more effective with regard to improving the lot of women in the country.

The committee at a meeting presided over by Tahira Latif also called for provision of necessary financial and human resources to the ministry to enable it to contribute more substantially towards betterment of the female strata in society especially their social, educational improvement and economic empowerment.

“We cannot afford to keep half of the population away from the mainstream and expect to move ahead on the ladder of development,” it observed.

The committee resented delays in provision of development funds due to lengthy official procedures and underlined the need for doing away with the time-consuming and archaic rules and procedures. Late releases ultimately pave the way for lapsing of development funds.

It also directed the ministry to expedite the recruitment process to fill the vacant posts in the ministry to overcome staff shortage.

The meeting said the government as well as society must show zero tolerance for violence against women, which remained the bane of society and haunted women hindering fuller development of their physical and mental capabilities. It stressed the need for greater skill development for opening more avenues of gainful employment for women in addition to establishing more centres for distressed women particularly in the rural areas.

Earlier, the meeting was given a presentation on the planning and monitoring cell of the ministry for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of existing women development projects including Tawana Pakistan and planning and implementation of new plans and projects.

It was informed that the ministry was striving for promotion of collaboration with provincial women development departments, private and corporate sectors for implementation of women’s development programmes.

Later, the members of the committee visited the Shelter Home for Women in Distress at Sector H-8/1 to obtain first-hand knowledge of its activities particularly with regard to providing relief to the distressed women.

The committee was informed that the centre was working to create public awareness about violence against women and providing free legal assistance in addition to accommodation, vocational training and psychological counselling to the needy women.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/12/2008

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