PESHAWAR: Neelum Toru has again been appointed as the chairperson of the new Provincial Commission on the Status of Women despite her dismal performance over the past three years.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Zakat, Ushr, Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment department issued a notification, reconstituting the commission after its tenure expired in September last year.
Up to 15 other new members have been inducted, including two MPAs and the secretary of the social welfare department as well as a member from a religious minority.
The new commission was formed under the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Commission of Status of Women Act, 2017, allowing it autonomy to pass its own budget and formulate its own laws.
A senior official in the social welfare department said that the previous commission was working under the NWFP Establishment of a Commission on the Status of Women Act of 2009, which is considered flawed as it did not grant enough powers to the commission.
He said that the appointment of Neelum Toru was in accordance with the law.
During the past three years, the commission formulated just a policy framework for betterment of women and drafted a domestic violence bill, which was rejected by the Council of Islamic Ideology.
The commission has been hit by a severe financial crisis since its inception. Even its offices have been locked by the landlord over unpaid rent.
Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Sikander Sherpao said that the new commission was an autonomous body that would work independently for the rights of the women in all districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The commission, he said, is to oversee the formulation of laws relating to women. “It can pass its own budget, besides having a separate secretariat,” he said, adding that the commission’s chairperson would have the powers of of a grade-21 officer.