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More amends recommended for NCSW bill: Chairperson

Feb 15, 2017

Islamabad-Chairperson National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), Khawar Mumtaz on Tuesday said they have forwarded few more amendments to be incorporated in the recently passed NCSW (Amendment) bill 2016 from National Assembly.

She said, “Under the new amended bill, after completing the tenure of head of the commission, the new chairperson would be appointed at the earliest or the acting chair would be allowed to work till the appointment of new chairperson for continuity of projects.”

However, she added, “We have suggested that tenure of commission members would also be extended till the appointment of new members to avoid any hindrance in the commission work.”  They have sent their suggestions to the mover of the bill Dr Nikhat Shakeel Khan, to be included when being tabled in the upper house of the parliament, she told APP.

Khawar Mumtaz said whenever a new legislation is being drafted, the lacuna has been pointed out after its practical implementation and same is the case of NCSW. According to the initial legislation, the acting chairperson of the office must be the member of commission and allowed to work for one month only but for after completion of last five commission heads, it was observed that commission remained dysfunctional due to lack of appointment of the head within stimulated time of one month.

It is a beneficial move to extend time period of the acting chairperson but law making is not a job of single person and the head cannot work alone on any project with commission members so they want that a concrete amendment should be finalized which strengthen capacity of the commission, she remarked. It is pertinent to mention here that the permanent National Commission on Status of Women was established through a Presidential Ordinance in 2000.

From 2000-2015 five commissions completed their terms. The first four chairpersons of the commissions respectively were Dr Shaheen Sardar Ali, Justice (Retd) Majida Rizvi, Arifa Syeda, Anis Haroon and Khawar Mumtaz who was reappointed as head of sixth commission working currently.

Khawar Mumtaz took charge of the fifth commission on January 1, 2013 after a gap of nine month as the then chairperson Anis Haroon, completed her tenure on March 26, 2012. Her tenure as fifth commission head was expired on December 31, 2015 but she was reappointed in June last year which halted the activities and ongoing projects of the commission ultimately affecting the welfare of the women at grass root level as the prime mandate of the commission.

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