By Sohail Khattak
PESHAWAR: If you are a woman living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and you are facing domestic violence, sexual harassment, child marriage or deprivation of inheritance rights then you can dial 091-9212026 to directly register your complaint at the K-P Assembly.
The K-P Assembly has launched Zama Awaz [My Voice] helpline for women aimed at providing them a platform to take their issues directly to the legislature and to get help of the province’s’ most powerful forum.
The helpline has been launched by the Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) in collaboration with Pak Women and USAID and will be operated through the WPC office at the assembly. Women across the K-P can now call the helpline from 9am to 5pm and register their problems with the telephone operators.
The issues reported through calls will be analysed by the Zama Awaz’s coordination committee – comprising representatives of the WPC, Pak Women and Provincial Commission on the Status of Women – to provide assistance and immediate support to the callers.
The K-P Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Dr Mehar Taj Roghani, who was chief guest at the launch ceremony, called it a milestone achieved by the WPC and its partners. She extended her full support in making the project a success.
Earlier, the WPC chairperson Meraj Humayun informed the participants about the need for the helpline. She said some of the districts in the K-P do not have women representation in the house and women of those areas need a forum to take their issues to the assembly.
“The women across the province will not only be able to communicate their problems to the house but could also give their suggestions to women lawmakers on gender-related legislation,” she said.
Humayun said the K-P already has a helpline in the social welfare department but this one will directly connect women with the assembly.
Pak Women Executive Director Azra Gul said they have developed software for registration of cases and have got services of a female lawyer for the helpline who would provide legal guidance and assistance.
“Women can also register their issues online through the website of Pak Women and those who don’t have access to internet can use the helpline,” she said, adding that the project is initially for 15 months.
Shandana Naeem, the lawyer for the helpline, gave briefing on the laws relating to women rights in the country which they would be using to give assistance and support to the women requesting for help.