Sindh: Government to set up Shelter Homes for Women
Below is an article published by The Nation:
Sindh Minister for Women Development, Tauqir Fatima Bhutto, has said that shelter homes for women will be set up next month [October 2008] in Sindh in Darul Amaans.
She said that these shelter homes were the replica of Islamabad Women Centre which was being adopted in Sindh for providing protection and security to the needy women.
Talking to The Nation, she pointed out that previously there was no such facility in the existing Darul Amaan in Sindh. “There are three crisis centres (Darul Amaans) in the province but none has the facility of shelter home.”
Fatima said that women were facing violence in the name of traditions like ‘Karokari’ in the interior Sindh. “Those who stand up against such discriminatory norms become homeless and they need protection from the government,” she said adding that the women development department had received many such cases but there was no place to give refuge to the victims.
The department has insufficient resources which curtail the responsibilities of provincial department. “The training facilities are being provided at the Islamabad shelter centre to such women in order to make them financially independent besides offering free education for their children. We want same facilities at each divisional headquarter of Sindh.”
The minister said that skill training besides education facility would be provided to women who seek protection. She also emphasised that establishment of hostels for women in rural areas was also vital as rural women are the severe victim of domestic violence and other inhuman tradition. She informed that these hostels were also included in the women rehabilitation plan. “If women are provided with quality hostels, they can help in running schools and health centres that are currently lying closed because of the shortage of staff.”
Fatima said that there was also a need to make men aware about the rights that Islam gives to women. She said that past governments developed facilities related to childcare but nothing was done to create facilities for women. “No step has been taken to utilise 10 per cent quota for women in the public sector,” she added.
She said: “We are also lobbying for the provision of legal protection to home-based women workers and law against sexual harassment at workplace as presently lot of women are languishing in the jails due to lack of legal aid facility to them.”
She said that Benazir Bhutto encouraged women to come forward and become part of mainstream politics. “We will continue her legacy and train more and more women in politics so that they can fight for their rights more appropriately,” she said. She said that her department would hold seminars in interior Sindh to create awareness among them, as Islam gives equal rights to both women and men.