Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) launched a Provincial Steering Forum (PSF) under the Project “Policy Advocacy and Research to Strengthen the Implementation of Pro women Legislation and Gender Based Violence Response Services in Sindh” at Movenpick hotel Karachi on 07th of March 2017.
This launching ceremony of Provincial Steering Forum (PSF) was participated by the key provincial government departments, including Women Development Department (WDD), Social Welfare Department, Health Department, Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Human Rights and Police Department as key members of PSF. The forum also comprises on members of civil society and media (both electronic and print) to launch a rigorous campaign and constant movement for implementation of recently promulgated pro women laws in letter and spirit. Ms. Ranna Ansar who is secretary general of Women Parliamentary Caucus- Sindh Assembly and Chairperson Standing Committee of Women Development Sindh Assembly also participated in the launching ceremony to support the provincial level forums in future to strengthen gender based response services in Sindh.
Ms. Shazia Shaheen Project Manager of SPO said that “this is not merely a project but it is a movement to sustain the struggle for protection of women from violence and prevention of any kind of discrimination against women in society”. According to her the Policy of advocacy and lobbying interventions will be supported by the situational analysis on existing GBV response services in Sindh and gaps in implementation of laws, furthermore she added that overall goal of the formation of provincial steering forum will be to protect women and make them able to access the services which are developed and provided by provincial government under early child marriages restraint Act 2013, Domestic violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2012, and Anti women customary practices Act.
Provincial Forum would steer the process of establishment and strengthen the provincial commission on the status of women in Sindh which is yet to be notified and functionalised, even though this law was applied couple of year ago but never been functioned. This provincial network will be assertive in implementation of pro women laws in Sindh. This initiative will be collective effort based on the three years’ strategic plan to move forward to implement the advocacy agenda identified in action plan. This forum will boost up the efforts to increase the budget in annual development plan for smooth and better function of women shelter homes, medico legal services and other GBV response services available in Sindh.
An illuminating discussion took place around the circulated draft of terms of reference (ToRs) among the participants and members of the network. Each member of the forum expressed their and profoundly appreciated the much-needed forum to work on progression of pro women laws. It was discussed that final ToRs will be established and formulated in the future in strategic planning session which is expected to be held soon.
The launch was inaugurated by Mr. Naseer Memon, Chief Executive- SPO. It was participated by Mr. John O’ Brien, Country Representative of Trocaire, Ms. Ishart Jabeen Country Program Manager of Trocaire, Ms. Naheed Begum MPA Sindh Assembly and Chairperson of Standing Committee on women development and Ms. Rana Ansar MPA Sindh Assembly and General Secretary of Women Parliamentary Caucus Sindh Assembly. This event was attended by honourable Justice Majida Rizvi, Chairperson Human Rights Commission Sindh, Ms. Shehla Qureshi Superintendent Police Karachi East, Dr. Ayub Shaikh Editor Awami Awaz, Ms. Mehnaz Rehaman, resident director Aurat Foundation, Jameel Junejo Pakistan Fisher Folk (PFF), Zulfiqar Shah PILLER, Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Baloch, Regional Head SPO- Hyderabad, Mr. Ellahi Bukhsh Regional Head SPO Karachi, Ms. Raheema Panhwar SPO Karachi and Ms. Shazia Shaheen National Program Manager SPO. At the end of the event there were concluding remarks by Ms. Saddiqa Salahudin, a renowned educationist, founder and member of Board of Directors SPO.