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Coordinated efforts stressed for implementation of Domestic Violence Act

Dec 18, 2013

Stakeholders from diverse backgrounds on Wednesday urged the provincial government of Sindh to expedite making of Rules of Business for early and effective implementation.

 

In a National Consultative meeting, organized to establish a concrete frame work for implementation of Sindh Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013, participants strongly recommended that other provinces should follow suit with similar legislation.

 

The consultative meeting was jointly organized by National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and Shirkat Gah- Women's ResourceCenter to highlight the key features of the Sindh law and discuss the need and status of Legislation on Domestic Violence across Pakistan.

 

Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson NCSW appreciating the concern and endeavour of Sindh assembly members for passage of Sindh Domestic Violence said, the long-awaited Act as a crucial step in upholding the safety and dignity of survivors of domestic violence.

 

She said, "Sindh becomes the first province to pass a law on domestic violence making Pakistan one of the 90 countries in the world which have legislation against domestic violence".

 

She stressed on the need for similar legislation in all the provinces with a framework to ensure effective implementation of existing laws. Minister of Women's Development Sindh, reiterated strong commitment of the government for implementation of the Domestic Violence Law.

 

"Awareness campaign on the law has been initiated by the Ministry and mechanisms for monitoring in collaboration with the civil society will be formulated for effective implementation" she said adding that all stakeholders are being taken onboard in this regard.

 

Secretary Women's Development Department, Sindh announced plans for formation of the Provincial Commission on Domestic Violence within 10 days.

 

The Commission has responsibility for oversight of the law and leading its implementation. Protection Committees at Tehsil level will be notified soon with responsibility for providing support to survivors, documenting cases and making referrals.

 

Sindh MPA Mehtab Rashdi and Former Minister and Chair of NCSW, Anees Haroon recommended linkages between all related departments with coordinated multilateral action of Social Welfare, Women's Development and Home Departments, police, health, judges and social services.

 

Farida Shaheed, Executive Director of Shirkat Gah reiterated suggested sharing of information among provinces and the need for provincial governments to send all relevant laws and information to NCSW.

 

Chair Person Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women in Khaber Pakhtunkwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Minister for Women's Development, Sadia Danish from Gilgit Baltistan, Memebers Provincial Assemblies from Punjab, KPK, Balochistan, lawyers and members of civil society organizations attended the meeting.

 

They also emphasized the need for laws on domestic violence in all provinces and demanded effective operational grievance redressal mechanism.

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