Senate committee not satisfied on Women Ministry’s performance
* Committee not pleased over implementation of women harassment law by various ministries
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Women Development on Tuesday expressed serious reservations over the performance of the Ministry of Women Development, particularly over the closure of the Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) without taking the senate body on board.
The committee met at the Parliament House, under the chairpersonship of Senator Shirala Malik to review performance of the Ministry of Women Development, and the five-year performance of the Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP).
The Senate body also expressed dissatisfaction over the level of the implementation of the women harassment law by different ministries and divisions, “as not a single case has been registered under the said law, so far”.
The committee had an in-depth discussion on GRAP and reasons behind its closure. The committee deliberated at length over the proposals and recommendations on future policy, by the federal Ministry for Women Development for strict implementation on legislation regarding harassment against women.
Ministry of Women Development Secretary Batool Iqbal Qureshi informed the committee, that the project of GRAP was initiated in 2005 to help and improve the status of women through fiscal, political, legal and institutional reforms in the government structures at the federal, provincial and district levels, to ensure gender equality in the society.
Five-year performance of the GRAP was also evaluated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the planning and development, division and monitoring and evaluation of the project.
The secretary informed the committee that according to all the three evaluation reports, GRAP was not able to achieve the desired objectives, especially that the revision of the Rules of Business and the Gender Development Grants were released without assessing the needs of the districts. Also, the project was not even able to spend Rs 84 million out of Rs 250 million, the project grants were distributed without considering the true theme of PC-1.
She also stated that a high-level review panel was formed which during its meeting held on June, 3, decided not to extend GRAP beyond its terminated date, which was June 30. These recommendations were submitted to the prime minister and after receipt of approval, the project was closed on June 30.
The secretary said that as per decision of the review panel, the reform agenda is being institutionalised as a regular and permanent activity of the Ministry of Women Development.
In this matter, 20 additional posts have been created and a separate wing is being established to exclusively deal with the reforms on the agenda.
Source: Daily Times