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Government to support tabling of Hudood Ordinance in Parliament: Soomro

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Mohammadmian Soomro has said that present government would support tabling of the controversial Hudood Ordinance in the Parliament to repeal the objectionable clauses.

If any party presented the Hudood Ordinance in the parliament for debate we would not oppose the move, he added.

He was talking to journalists after launching ‘Inquiry Report on Status of Women Employment in Public Sector Organization’ here on March 4, 2004. National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) organized the function.

It is evident from the government’s liberal policies that it is how much sincere towards women empowerment and removing gender disparities as large number of women have been given representation in the National Assembly and, Senate besides local bodies, he remarked.

Earlier, Mohammadmian Soomro addressing the gathering said that we couldn’t achieve the targets of removing gender inequalities until and unless they have been given economic empowerment.

There is tremendous potential and courage in today’s women and we should concentrate to give them opportunities for utilizing their hidden capabilities, he said.

He said the women are the import tools of our society and we must provide them financial authorization, vocational capabilities and independence in other economic-related matters to earn respected livelihood.

Senate Chairman said that women comprise about fifty percent of the total population of Pakistan but unfortunately, the slot for their participation in the public sector is marginal.

Former Justice Majida Rizvi, Chairperson NCSW said the Government of Pakistan under the national/international commitment and the Constitutional mandate, took quite a few initiatives for the emancipation of women in public sector but that remained limited to announcement of the reservation of quota in jobs.

In view of the prevailing conditions, the NCSW in exercise of its mandate, commissioned the Inquiry into the Status of Women in Public Sector Organizations in the year 2001, she said.

She said the report was formulated with the objective to review the existing status of women in public sector organizations, recruitment guidelines and the status of gender composition of employment in addition to a detailed review of the service rules, procedures, and employment records of Services and General Administration Departments, Establishment Division, Public Service Commission and selected federal and provincial departments.

The purpose was to present policy recommendations and an affirmative action plan for implementation, she said.

The inquiry team formulated its recommendations based on data collected and the reports submitted by the provincial consultants. The Provincial Steering Committees discussed the report. Finally it was put up before the Federal Steering Committee which endorsed the conceptual framework and scope of the Inquiry Report and it was finally approved by the NCSW in its meeting held on 29th and 30th August, 2003 at Islamabad.

The inquiry report stresses on the recruitment of women in greater numbers in BPS – 17 & 18 i.e. at the mid-level, so as to be able to fill up the gap in the higher strata of bureaucracy. Immediate intervention needs at the level of BPS-4, BPS-6 and BPS-9-1 are also highlighted. Since, the number of women in judiciary is negligible hence the recruitment of women lawyers to these positions, on fixed quota has been recommended. Direct appointment, wherever there is a big gap, has been recommended.

The report recommends for the development of micro-mechanisms for better and quicker results. It also recommends supportive environment for women employees, provision of day care centres, transportation etc., to enhance efficiency. Further, the Complaint,” Committee be set-up headed by 4 woman and of which 50 percent ‘ members should be women to investigate complaints of sexual harassment.

Moreover, it recommends restructuring of Women Development Departments at Provincial and Federal levels with clearly laid out job description. It stresses the heed of gender sensitisation of top-level government officers.

The report gives important and crucial recommendations, which 1 am sure will be found useful, interesting and revealing and 1 hope that the efforts of the Commission are seriously taken by the Government of Pakistan in taking practical initiatives to fulfil its commitments to the nation towards the empowerment of Women of Pakistan.

Source: Business Recorder