Friday, July 2, 2010

Women Development

Women Development Wing established in the Department oversees coordination, planning, implementation and monitoring of all activities directed towards women"s development and empowerment in the province. A special coordinating unit for implementation of NPA/CEDAW also functions in the Social Welfare Department with the assistance of UNICEF.

The subject of women development has received great emphasis as a follow-up action on the Country Report prepared for the International Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. Based on this report, Platform For Action was prepared in 12 main areas of concern which included all aspects that could raise the status of women and bring them into the main stream of development by eliminating all socio-economic disparities and discriminations against women with a participatory effort involving all Government ministries/departments, experts and NGOs representatives at different levels. The Ministry of Women Development in collaboration with provinces and NGOs formulated a National Plan of Action for the entire country. The Prime Minister of Pakistan announced its implementation on 14th August 1998.

The Provincial Department of Social Welfare has been renamed as Cocial Welfare, Women Development & Bait-ul-Mal ad has been assigned the new subject of Women Development under Rules of Business.

According to National Plan of Action (NPA), following have been identified as areas of concern:-

1.Women and Poverty.

2.Education and Training of Women.

3.Women and Health.

4.Violence against Women.

5.Women in Armed Conflicts.

6.Women in Economy.

7.Women in Power and Decision Making.

8.Institutional Mechanisms for Advancement of Women.

9.Human Rights of Women.

10. Women and Media.

11. The Girl Child.

12. Women and the Environment.

13. Women with Disabilities.

Some of the activities undertaken under National Plan of Action for Women Development Implementation are as follows:

Constitution of Provincial Core Group

A Provincial Core Group (PCG) has been constituted consisting of 19 relevant provincial line departments and NGOs working for women development. It determines provincial priorities, prepares and approves action plans and makes regular periodic reviews of NPA implementation. PCG has held 23 meetings since its constitution.

District Core Groups

District Core Groups have been formed in all the districts of Punjab. Regular meetings are held to monitor the activities related to NPA in the districts.

Constitution of Task Force

A Task Force has been constituted for Women Development which holds regular monthly meetings to propose & undertake plans and monitor the progress of NPA implementation in Punjab. The Task Force consists of eminent persons from the fields of Health, Education, Economics, Law and Media.

Focal Points in the Line Departments

Focal Points have been identified in relevant Line Departments to ensure mainstreaming of gender issues in their relevant areas and carry out activities envisaged under National Plan of Action for Women Development.

Upgradation of District Industrial Homes (Sanatzars)

The District Industrial Homes have been upgraded into Women Development Centres in which help line for women in distress, economic empowerment, through micro-credit facilities, training in new skills, creation of data base and library would be provided in addition to the existing training facilities. Women Development Centre, Lahore will be the apex centre linked with other Women Development Centres in all districts of Punjab.

Establishment of Resource Centre

A Resource Centre has been established at the Provincial Headquarters to serve as retrieval centre on women & child rights. Documentation and collection of research on women"s issues from various sources like NGOs, Govt: departments and Universities is under process.

Upgradation of Women Prisons

Women Prisons in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Rahim Yar Khan have been upgraded to facilitate women prisoners. Over 300 poor women have been released from prisons who had committed petty crimes and were unable to pay their fines.

Special Trainings for women prisoners

Special Trainings have been arranged for women prisoners in poultry and kitchen gardening in Lahore Jail.

Revision of Laws

Pakistan has ratified U.N. Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). A legal expert has been hired to review the existing laws in the light of CEDAW and propose recommendations for elimination of discriminations against women.

Research Studies

Research Studies are being conducted by the experts on Women"s "Economic Empowerment" and "Decision Making". A bibliography of research on women is also under preparation.

Steps to reduce Violence Against Women (VAW)

Pilot projects were implemented for collection of data and development of a strategy to eliminate VAW in Sheikhupura and Bahawalpur districts. Consequently a working group was formed which has given its recommendations on the subject.

A legal awareness programme is soon to be launched in various girls colleges so that the future women know their rights as given to them by Islam and existing laws.

Women"s Complaint Cells have been set up by Home Department. The 34 District Industrial Homes( Sanatzars) have been assigned the additional responsibility to serve as " Crisis Centre" for women in distress.
Violence against women will be a major area of concern during the activity plan for 2001.

Preparation of Calendar

For the first time a calendar highlighting women and their issues was printed by NPA/CEDAW Unit, Punjab and distributed to Government Departments , Social Workers and NGOs.

Interviews on TV/Radio

As a part of awareness raising and advocacy on women issues, the Minister Social Welfare, Coordinator, NPA/CEDAW and the Task Force members have been invited on talk shows on Radio & TV.

Awareness raising programmes on women issues

Workshops and seminars are held at various levels and in different areas of the province as a part of Advocacy on women"s issues. A number of workshops and seminars have been held in Punjab on various issues since 1997. This will be an ongoing activity during 2001.

Celebration of International Women"s Day

International Women"s Day was celebrated on March 8th, 2000 by the Department of Social Welfare, Women Development & Bait-ul-Mal Punjab. Tribute was paid and medal awarded to the best Female Social Worker in Punjab. Governor Punjab, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Mohammad Safdar was the Chief Guest. It was also decided that medals would be awarded to lady social workers each year for excellence in the field of women development.
Report on
Beijing +5

A detailed report on the implementation of NPA/CEDAW for Beijing +5 Review was compiled and sent to the Ministry of Women Development, Islamabad.

Compilation of Women"s Directory

For the first time in Punjab, a Women"s Directory has been prepared and printed in order to get a pool of women resource persons in Punjab, who are experts in their own respective fields.

Video Documentaries

Video Documentaries have been prepared on Women"s issues and Women"s Legal Rights for dissemination.

Safe Motherhood Project

This project to reduce maternal mortality was prepared by the Health Group of the Task Force and successfully implemented.

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