Karachi: Honour killings blamed on official apathy
KARACHI: Sindh Women Development Minister Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto said on Thursday that owing to the non-cooperation of officials in the investigation and prosecution departments, the menace of Karo-kari (honour killing) in the province could not be controlled. Responding to media questions after a press conference, she said efforts were being made to root out this heinous crime from society.
She said it was committed under the garb of cultural traditions, but owing to the mindset of the staff in the police and prosecution departments, neither the crime was properly investigated nor presented with sufficient proof in courts, hence most culprits were either acquitted or given very light punishments. Earlier, briefing the media men on her department’s achievements in the past three years, she said that over 2,100 girls had been given vocational training under the Benazir Bhutto Youth Development Programme and had become qualified beauticians, secretaries, and some had been trained in the field of entrepreneurship and taught how to carry out business, marketing, etc. During their training, the students were paid Rs4,000 as a monthly stipend. She said that over 500 girls had been trained and now they could open and operate daycare centres, where working women could leave their young children for their working hours. They were also paid a stipend during their training. The minister said that a revolving fund of Rs9 million had also been established to provide relief to women and juvenile prisoners to pay their fines and bail money. She said till now over 171 women and 25 juvenile prisoners had benefited from this scheme. Besides, 38 foreign women prisoners had also been sent home by using these funds. She said a condition was set that a woman or juvenile person coming to prison for a second time would not benefit from this fund, for obvious reasons. Another fund of Rs20 million had also been established under which women lawyers from all over the province would be identified and registered so that poor women in prisons in the interior of the province could be provided free legal assistance. The lawyers, under this scheme, would get Rs10,000 per case. She said the department also organised seminars and workshops to create awareness among women about their rights. She said more vocational centres, working women hostels etc were being set up so that women also had equal opportunities to play their due role in the progress of the country. She said five women complaint centres were also working in the province to provide relief to women. She said the government had also passed a law about gender discrimination and against harassment. A few resolutions had also been passed through the assembly against women trafficking to get rights for home-based workers and to condemn violence against women. She said that owing to the last floods almost 35 per cent of the development budget for the department had been diverted to rehabilitation of flood victims.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.