52 meetings were held with stakeholders in project targeted districts of Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro and Matiari to ensure the advocacy for improved pro-women legislation and GBV response services at grassroots level. In these meetings stakeholders from Child Protection Bureaus, Nikkah Khawan (04 in each district), Registrars Nikkah (3 from each district), Union Council Secretaries (04 in each district) and local police officials (02 officials in each district),
were given detailed orientation on Domestic Violence Act 2013 and Child Marriages Restraint Act and other legislations under AWPA 2010 for their effective implementation at district level.
Key Points of Orientation Meetings – District Jamshoro, Matiari and Hyderabad
• Women SHO from Hyderabad – A separate Women Police Station of 12 rooms was built in 2003 but only one room was allotted to women police station and rest of it is under control of Citizen Police liaison committee (CPLC).
• Fewer Union council secretaries are aware of pro –woman laws like Child Marriage Restraint Act.
• Union Council Secretaries recommended that there should be strict conditions to qualify for a registered Nikah khunwah, to lessen the number of illiterate and extremist Nikah Khuwans.
• Union council secretaries suggested to conduct awareness sessions and trainings for Molvis, Nikah khunwahs , Pandits and Bhopas ( Hindu Nikah Khunwah) as most cases of child marriages are reported to take place in Hindu Dalit casts. More than half of marriages of Dalits are child marriages and not registered.
• Ratio of marriage registration is very low compared to unregistered marriages.
• There is lack of facilitation for women who want to register cases for their legal rights due to fewer women police stations and women police officers, less shelter homes and costly legal procedures.
Key Points of Orientation Meetings – Districts: Malir, Gadap
• NADRA accepts marriage certificate of girls less than 18 (not at legal age to have their own identity card) based on the CNIC of father. NADRA should be requested to address this based on Sindh Early Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013. In 2001 there were 178 UCs in Karachi and 246 in 2017 – many not updated in NADRA system.
• Children till the age of 14 years are allowed to be admitted in Child Protection Units in Sindh. If the applicant is boy and comes at night, he will be disallowed for shelter in hostels and only girls can temporarily be accommodated. There are Dar-ul-attfal for girls in Karachi and in Hyderabad and Sukkur – for boys.
• Social Welfare Department has offices in every district and they established 29 Child Protection Units across the Sindh.