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Sharing of Situation Analysis of Implementation Pro-women Laws in Sindh

 

Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), organized an event in a local hotel in Karachi to share the situation analysis report on implementation of pro women laws Sindh under the project tilled asPolicy Advocacy and Research to Strengthen Implementation of Pro-Women Legislation and GBV Response Services in Sindh” supported by Australian Government. The situation analysis sharing event aimed to disseminate key findings of the study with provincial stakeholders including legislators, representatives of the departments of government of Sindh, civil society advocates, relevant district departments to identify various gaps for further pro women policy advocacy and implementation.  

The study has been conducted to identify the implementation gaps (de facto and de jure) in Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2013, the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013, the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women Act, 2015, and Criminal Law (Third Amendment) Act, 2011, commonly known as Anti-women Practices Act (AWPA).

The study has unfolded the case law side and currently few cases have been filed under Anti-women Practices Act, 2011 and Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013. Whereas, the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013 has been least applied so far. Only one case of domestic violence is reportedly under trial in Sindh despite that women are frequently exposed to domestic violence in the province. There are inherent legal loopholes in all aforementioned four laws and in their rules of Business. These legal gaps have been impeding the effective utilization of the laws at the hands of general masses, women and the duty bearers. The study revealed that implementation structure and mechanism provided by these laws are not completely applied rightly so far. It has also been found that the formal coordination mechanisms among departments of Social Welfare, Women Development Department and Police have not formed through developing Standard Operating Procedures or Protocols or by others means as envisaged by the relevant laws.  Following are few De facto gaps which needs to be addressed for holistic implementation and safeguard women horizontally and vertically.

Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013 needs to be amended to address the gaps and lacunas affecting implementation of the law such an invalidation (dissolution) of child marriages and penalization of consummation under 16 years of age in line with Section 375 PPC. Also seection 10 (5) of Rules of The SCMRA-2013 need to be revised and word “husband” may be deleted.

Amendment need to be made in Section 5 of Domestic Violence Act Prevention & Protection) Act-2013 to make offences cognizable, warrantable, bail-able in Schedule II of the Cr. PC. Also amendment needs to be made to make it clear that who will first take cognizance of the offences either relevant Protection Officer of WDD or Police Station.

Amendments need to be brought to the Anti-Women Practices Act 2011 to make offenses covered by the law cognizable under Schedule II of Cr.PC;  to decide upon invalidation (dissolution) of forced marriages; and to apply the law on the persons who take women or girls in customary practices.

Senator (R) Javed Jabbar, Chairperson SPO Board of Directors, appreciated the consultation process of SPO Karachi project implementation team and welcomed the newly appointed chairperson of Sindh Provincial Commission on Status of women. He showed hope that process of nominations for establishment of pro women structures will not take much time to take place. He advised that UC level administrative units be involved and implementation of these laws can be possible with inclusion of the UC offices. Shamim Mumtaz, Advisor to CM, Social Welfare Department called for strong coordination particularly between departments of Women, Police and Social Welfare Department to implement the pro women laws in letter and spirit. Mr. Mudassir Iqbal, Secretary Women Development department shared the achievements of the women development department Sindh. He appreciated the role of the SPO in materializing the laws by developing pro women legislation structures. Ms. Anis Haroon, Member Sindh, National Commission on the Status of Women, advised to develop a coordination committee of Women Development Department, Social Welfare Department and Police for effective response to implement the pro women laws in Sindh.   

The event was participated by Ms. Syeda Shehla Raza, Deputy Speaker, Sindh Assembly, Ms. Shamim Mumtaz, Advisor to CM, Social Welfare Department, Mr. Mudassir Iqbal, Secretary Women Development Department, Mr. Iftkhar Shellani Secretary Law and Parliamentary Affairs Govt: of Sindh, Ms. Nuzhat Shrin, Chairperson, Sindh Provincial Commission on the Status of women, Ms. Anis Haroon, Member Sindh, National Commission for Human Rights  Senator (R) Javed Jabbar, Chairperson SPO Board of Directors, Mr. Saleem Malik, Chief Executive, SPO.  

Other legislatures, representatives of Government, Home Department, Police, Health, ministry of human rights government of Sindh and civil society members actively participated in this event.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/229949-Legal-gaps-impeding-effective-action-against-gender-based-violence-child-marriages-in-Sindh

 

 

 

 

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