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Women crisis centres stop working for want of funds

NAWABSHAH: The Benazir Bhutto women crisis and management centres working in four cities of Sindh are facing severe financial crisis and have stopped functioning.

Over 60 employees working in the four centres have not received their salaries for six months. Besides, funds have not been released and, therefore, these centres stopped taking up new cases and their liabilities, including utility bills, have increased.

The centres were established by the Ministry of Women Development in Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Jacobabad for providing free legal aid and shelter to women victims of violence.

The centres worked smoothly for a number of years, but after the 18th Amendment when some federal departments were handed over to provinces these centres came under control of the Women Development Department of Sindh and were renamed as Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto centre for women.

The provincial department was already running projects

for women and now each district has two such centres.

Requesting not to be named, some employees of the devolved centres in Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Jacobabad, told this correspondent that they were facing immense hardship and were unable to meet their daily expenses.

They also fear that they may also lose their jobs which have not yet been regularised.

“We have been demanding regularisation for a long time and were assured by officers that this will be done.”

They said the women crisis and management centres in Punjab were running smoothly under the Human Rights Commission but not in Sindh where no funds had been released.

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