HYDERABAD: Decrying apparent procrastination on part of the Sindh government and highlighting the repercussions, the Women Action Forum has demanded activation of the Sindh Commission on Status of Women without further delay.
At a press conference in Hyderabad, the forum’s Prof Amar Sindhu lamented that though the Sindh Assembly legislated the law for setting up the commission in April, 2015, the body has yet to be made operational.
She recalled that the commission’s first announcement was made in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto while speaking at a conference in Beijing, China.
Sindhu, who is also a representative of the Khanabadosh Writers’ Cafe, said the government notified the commission in May, 2017. Under the notification, only 19 days were given to complete the set up, she added.
“Even after 27 months, [since the legislation] the law could not be implemented,” she observed.
According to the law, the commission will be able to review the government’s policies on women rights and ensure not only equal opportunities in terms of political participation and electoral representation but also women empowerment.
The commission would have the authority to recommend amendments to existing laws and suggest newer ones. It will also protect women from victimization besides helping victims.
Pointing out that the women development ministry’s portfolio is already with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindhu asked why the government could not find a competent woman to head the department. She claimed, citing her sources, that the CM wanted to amend the existing law owing to which the implementation is being delayed.
Sindhu said similar commissions were efficiently performing in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
On June 21, Sindh High Court also ordered the Sindh government to make the commission functional, giving a month’s time to the latter for submission of the compliance report. The SHC had warned of contempt proceedings for non-compliance.