Sindh increases women quota in govt jobs to 7 per cent


CM reviews status of women empowerment and protection in the province; All vacant positions in Women Development department to be filled by women; hostel constructed for working women occupied by DIG’s office, CM told;

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has decided to increase the quota of women in government jobs from 5 per cent to 7 per cent with immediate effect and directed the chief secretary to implement it strictly.

“It was the dream and mission of our leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to empower women and my government is committed to fulfilling it in true letter and spirit,” the chief minister said.

He took this decision while presiding over a meeting of Women Development Department (WDD) at the CM House. 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 women’s quota in government jobs was set at 5 per cent. “This is not enough and it must be at least 7 per cent,” he said and directed the chief secretary to ensure implementation of the decision.

The chief minister also announced another decision aimed at empowerment of women. He said that all the vacant positions in Women Development department would be given to women only. “It is another policy decisions that the women development department would fill out 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 Aijaz Mangi said replying to a question that his department had constructed a “Working Women Hostel” in Shaheed Benazirabad at a cost of Rs 13.2 million. The scheme had been completed but police had occupied the hostel and a DIG office had been housed there. On this the chief minister expressed displeasure and directed his Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo to vacate the hostel and report to 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 Aijaz Mangi said that under Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 some 107 cases have been registered, of them 87 have been solved so far.

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

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

Secretary WDD Aijaz said that Early Child Marriage Restraint Act had been passed by the Sindh Assembly and now it was in the process of implementation. The rules for the act had 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 had enacted law against child marriage and it had been praised widely.

The secretary said that provincial Commission on Status of Women Act 2015 had also been passed by Sindh Assembly on March 2. “The commission has to examine the policy, programmes and other measures taken by the government for gender equity, women empowerment and political participation etc,” the secretary said and added that it would also review all provincial laws, rules, regulations, pre-judicial to legitimate interest and rights 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 Rs 130 million for developing an endowment fund to give small loans to women artisans. “The policy for grant of loan from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 through Sindh Bank has also been formed,” he said and questioned why it had 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 promised.

The secretary also told the chief minister that a day care centre with a 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 mothers by establishing more centers,” he said and directed the chief secretary to establish two more centers in Karachi and one in each divisional headquarter and said that there must be hostels for working women.

Presently, 10 development schemes of the department worth Rs 400 million are in progress under Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2015-16. Of them eight are ongoing and two are new.

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