Plan of making the PCSW post unpaid: Non-seriousness of PTI government towards women issues

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Fauzia Viqar, Ex- chairperson of the Punjab Commission on Status of Women (PCSW) (Photo: thefridaytimes.com)

Women Commissions at the federal and provincial level are playing their roles as a watchdog on women-related issues in cross section. Since 2010 and onwards this very particular institution especially in Punjab has been witnessed as pro-women institution contributing from legislative measures to on-ground support to women. The chairperson-Fouzia Viqar has been removed without any reason from her position leaving the commission as an Orphan child.
Services of the commission in the past few years are countless and including setting up help desks for women in more than 700 police stations, launched women helpline to facilitate women in distress, offer free legal aid, create awareness on nikah nama, domestic violence, harassment at workplace, setting up of transitional homes, assessment of existing institutions like Dar ul Amaan, Dara ul Falah etc. Besides, there were women economic and social well-being survey and women safety audits carried out by the commission.

It is reported that Ms.Viqar has been removed on the directives of CM and it is planned to term this position as voluntary service.
The government is out of funds and cannot afford salaries for such positions.

On the other hand, also the KP commission chairperson position is vacant for a year now leaving the commission stagnant to perform without a chairperson.

Women as devolved subject has always been treated as tertiary and clubbing the relevant departments and commission under the larger body of Social Welfare Department.

There is a deep concern among women activists groups and movements and questioning the decision of PTI government of making the Chairperson position voluntary.
Recalling the services and seeing the over increasing reported violence against women is it justifiable to leave the commission without a Chair or for Voluntary service? Is it a foolish step to burn-down last ten years expenses by taking another U-Turn of weakening the institutions by leaving them in the hands of voluntary services.

1 COMMENT

  1. Fatyana adds the PTI government plans to make this post an unpaid one on which the next chairperson will work on a voluntary basis. Her point is that the government is cash-strapped and cannot afford the luxury of paying huge salaries for work that committed people shall do for free. On being reminded that the concerned law suggests Management Position Scale 1 scale for this position, she says, “the competent authority can ask for an amendment in law and make this position a voluntary assignment”.

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