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Women have lesser share in three key departments: study

A study has found structural impediments in mainstreaming gender prospective in the existing organisational structures and procedures in three key departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and called for implementation of gender policy.

“The findings of the study are alarming particularly in social welfare, special education and women development department,” said the report, which was launched here on Tuesday. The study is the first ever gender audit of three departments.

The launching ceremony was held in the provincial assembly secretariat and chaired by MPA Meraj Humayun, the chairperson of WPC. Lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches and representatives of civil society also attended the ceremony.

The study has focused on three main departments — home and tribal affairs, agriculture, social welfare, special education and women development. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) and Pak Women have jointly conducted “Gender analysis of KP annual development plan and annual development budget” study in collaboration with the USAID.

Report finds structural impediments in mainstreaming gender prospective

The report said that women had lesser share and participation in those three departments. In addition they (women) were working in lower grades/positions and consequently had less say in planning, designing, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation process.

“Gender mainstreaming needs to be focused through human resources, increase in quota for women, budget allocation for gender-related projects and programmes and creation of measurable indicators for gender mainstreaming,” the study concluded.

According to the findings, the social welfare, special education and women development departments total budget for the last three years was Rs483 million, out of which average development budget for women specific projects was Rs126 million that was only 26 per cent. The study said that the department utilised only 37 per cent of the total development budget in last three years.

The report suggested separation of social welfare from development and creation of separate ministry/department for women development at the provincial level.

“Women development must not be limited to Dastakari (handicraft) centres; it must include latest trends in the field of development, technology, science, e-commerce, information technology etc,” it recommended.

“Development means empowerment of women in all fields and relevant department should not confine to setting up Dastakari centres,” remarked Azra Gul, chief executive officer of Pak Women while presenting recommendations of the study.

The study proposed that home and agriculture departments must focus on inclusion of women development projects and allocation of adequate budget for those projects in their ADPs and ADBs. Proper women representation must be ensured above grade 17.

The participants of the ceremony urged the government to implement women policy, which was framed about six years ago. They also sought implementation of gender policy in all departments and attached bodies.

Bureau. Women have lesser share in three key departments: study. Dawn, July 12, 2017.

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