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Working women in Peshawar refuse to leave hostel

PESHAWAR: Working women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have refused to shift to the Women Crisis Centre from the Working Women Hostel run by the Social Welfare Department.

The working women told The News on Friday that they did not want to move to Women Crisis Centre as it is a place for runaway girls and women who took refuge there. They said they were from respectable families and wanted to live in a respectable place.

“We have received a one-day notice on June 26 from the Social Welfare Department to leave the hostel for the crisis centre,” Said Nashyman, a lady health visitor in the Police Services Hospital.

She said the government should provide an alternative place for the hostel if the owner of the hostel wanted to get the building vacated.“The government should at least give us a month time for leaving the hostel so that we are able to find a suitable place in the city,” said Samreen, a nurse in the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“We want a respectable place of living. We don’t want to go to the Women Crisis Centre,” said Shakila, an employee of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority. Besides, she said the girls and women staying in the crisis centre were bound by the strict government rules.

The working women demanded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister to take notice of the matter and provide them respectable place for living in the city instead of shifting them to a place like a prison.

Around 40 working women are living in the Working Women Hostel. They said they would ignore the notice by the department and remain at the hostel till a proper and suitable place was allotted to them in the city.

They also decided to move court against the government decision of shifting them to the crisis centre. When contacted, in-charge of the Working Women Hostel Salma Nasrullah told The News that the government had hired the building for the hostel and now the owner of the hostel had served a notice on the department to vacate the hostel.

She said the department had no alternative place for them and that they had to shift to the crisis centre as the government would hand the building over to the owner by July 12.

The official said the government had started work on construction of its own hostel for working women, which would be completed within six months. However, official sources told The News that the then provincial government had allotted a plot in Hayatabad for women’s hostel, and allocated fund for the construction, but due to disinterest of the department, work was started on it just a few months ago.

The News