By Latif Baloch
KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was on Friday informed that the government was preparing a report on women trafficking in the province and the consultant of the project would complete the report by next year.
Provincial Minister for Women Development Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto told legislators during the question hour in the house that the project’s total cost was Rs2 million while a sum of Rs372,000 had already been spent on tabulation and the consultant’s salary.
Replying to an MPA’s question about women hostels, she said establishment of hostels for working women in all districts were planned and the PC-1 for such a hostel in Karachi was being prepared. As soon the land for the project was made available to the department, the construction work would be started, she added.
MPA Aleem-ur-Rehman wanted to know the district-wise number of women welfare projects initiated during 2009 and 2010. In her written reply, the minister circulated the list, and answered various supplementary questions raised during the session.
In reply to a question regarding Sale, Display and Resource Centre, the minister said although it was established in 2005, it was made fully functional after 2008. The aim of setting up the centre was to facilitate the womenfolk from remote areas to put their products and skills on display for marketing purpose.
In reply to another question, she said that the government had already established a day-care centre in Karachi and planned to set up more in the province.
Responding to a question regarding women complaint cells, she said the cells were set up in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana and Benazirabad to provide legal aid to women in distress. A media cell was also established at the directorate of women development to ensure women’s access to information, she added.
Ms Bhutto informed the house that the baby child training programme had been launched at all district headquarters of the province as well as in all 18 towns of Karachi district. A total of 499 women had been trained to establish their own baby care centres, she said.
In reply to another question, the minister informed the house that around 1,800 women had benefited so under the Benazir Youth Development programme Some other projects which were undertaken by the department included shelters homes for women in all districts of Sindh, she said, adding that the government was also working on establishment of a women development complex at the divisional level.
She listed some other important projects as the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme, Sindh Women Economic Empowerment Project, Advocacy for Women Empowerment in Sindh, etc. She said the government also planned to extend assistance to women victims of violence and to organise mediation through the Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution in all districts.
In reply to a question asked by Aleem-ur-Rehman, the minister said 27 women were appointed in her department during 2009. Of them, seven were working in the Karachi day-care centre, another four in Karachi’s women complaint cells and two each in Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur and Benazirabad.