Sindh increases women quota in govt jobs to 7pc

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has decided to increase the quota of women in government jobs from 5 percent to 7 percent with immediate effect and directed the chief secretary to implement it strictly. “It was the dream and mission of our leader Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto to empower women and my government is committed to fulfill it in true letter and spirit.”

He took this decision while presiding over a meeting of Women Development Department (WDD) here at the CM House today. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev) Aijaz Ali Khan, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary WDD Aijz Mangi, Special secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi and others.

The chief minister said that at present the women quota in government jobs is 5 percent. “This is not enough and it must be at least 7 percent.,” he said and directed he chief secretary to ensure its implementation in true letter and spirit.

The chief minister also taking another landmark decision for women empowerment decided that in women development department all the vacant positions would be given t women only. “It is another policy decisions that the women development department would fill all their vacant positions from amongst the suitable women candidate. The application of male candidate would not be entertained in WDD,” he directed the chief secretary and secretary Labour.

Secretary WDD Mr Aijaz Mangi replying to a question said that his department has constructed a `Working Women Hostel’ in Shaheed Benazirabad for Rs13.2 million. The scheme has been completed but police have occupied the hostel and a DIG office has been housed there. On this the chief minister expressed displeasure and directed his Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo to vacate the hostel and report him. “This hostel is meant for working women only, it must be returned and be used for the purpose for which it has been built,” he said.

Briefing the chief minister on the legislation so far made by Sindh government, Secretary WDD Mr Aijaz Mangi said that under `Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010′ some 107 cases have been registered, of them 887 have been solved so far.

He said under the Act, 1000 provincial Watch Committees have been formed all over Sindh. For proper implementation of the act, a committee under Justice (retd) Peer Ali Shah has been formed, he added.

Talking about Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013, the secretary said that rules have been prepared in consultation with the stakeholders and submitted to Law Department for vetting. Once the rules are approved by the chief minister, the act would be implemented properly, he assured.

Secretary WDD Mr Aijaz said that `Early Child Marriage Restraint Act’ has been passed by Sindh Assembly and now it is in the process of implementation. The rules for the act have also been sent to law department for vetting. On this, Additional Chief Secretary Aijaz Ali Khan said that Sindh was the first province in the country which has enacted law against child marriage and it has been appreciated widely.

The secretary said that provincial Commission on Status of Women Act 2015 has also been passed by Sindh Assembly on March 2, 2015. “The commission has to examine the policy, programmes and other measures taken by the government for gender equability, women empowerment, political participation etc,” the secretary said and added that it would also review all provincial laws, rules, regulations, pre-judicial to legitimate interest and right of women.

Chief Secretary Siddique Memon said that `Provincial Home-based Women Worker policy’ is also under process. “The draft bill has been discussed by the cabinet committee and it would be presented in the assembly very soon,” he assured.

The chief minister said that he had released Rs130 million for developing an Endowment fund to give small loans to women artisan. “The policy for grant of loan from Rs50,000 to Rs100,000 through Sindh Bank has also been fored,” he said and question why it has been delayed?

The chief secretary said that the fund has been established in Sindh Bank. “I am personally monitoring to design the application form. Inshallah, the first draw of the loan would be performed by the chief minister in the first week of January,” he vowed.

The secretary also told the chief minister that there was a Day Care Centre with the capacity of 30 kids is working in Karachi. On this the chief minister said that one centre was not enough. “we have to facilitate working women/mothers by establishing more centers,” he said and directed the chief secretary to establish such two more centers in Karachi and one in each divisional headquarter and there must be hostels for working women.

Presently, Rs400 million 10 development schemes of the department under ADP 2015-16 are in progress, of them eight are on-going and two are new.

The chief minister directed the ACS (Dev) Aijaz Ali Khan to approve the schemes of Day Care centers and hostels in next ADP for which chief secretary would personally monitor the process.