LAHORE - Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to set up a commission for underlying objective of expansion of opportunities for socio-economic development of women and elimination of all forms of discrimination against them.
The commission has been mandated to examine the government policy and programmes in order to materialise the objective of gender equality, empowerment of women and ensure their representation in political process. It would also make an assessment of the implementation of government policies on women empowerment and making suitable recommendations to the authorities concerned.
The commission would have the power to review the laws, rules and regulations affecting the status and rights of women and suggest repeal, amendment or new legislation needed to eliminate discrimination against them in accordance with the Constitution and obligations under national and international covenants and commitments.
Though the Opposition appreciated the government for presenting the bill, it also brought forward four motions to be incorporated in it. But the Treasury rejected these by majority vote.
Through addition of a new clause in the bill, the Opposition wanted the government to ensure that advice and recommendations of the commission are implemented in letter and spirit by all the executive authorities and, in case of defiance, the government should take disciplinary action against the responsible officials.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, however, insisted that there was no need to incorporate a new clause into the bill since a mechanism to ensure implementation of commission’s recommendations was already in place.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif remained present in the House during the legislation on women empowerment.
The bill also empowers the commission to develop and maintain interaction and dialogue with non-governmental organisations, experts and individuals to achieve gender equality at the provincial national, regional and international level.
The commission would be responsible to monitor implementation of instruments and obligations affecting women and girls to which Pakistan was a signatory and advice the government before ratification or accession to any such proposed international instrument, convent, protocol or treaties. The commission would hold at least four meetings in a year, not less than one in every quarter. In January each year, the commission would be responsible to submit report on its performance.
Earlier, during the question hour on Livestock and Dairy Development Department, the Assembly was told that the injection which is injected to animals for milk was not harmful for consumers.
The wrong answers given by Parliamentary Secretary on Livestock and Dairy Development Ghulam Nizamuddin Sialvi annoyed the members who complained Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal about Sialvi’s non-serious attitude.
Meanwhile, media persons boycotted Punjab Assembly proceedings for some time over the death incident of a child-girl in Journalists’ Colony which took place a few days back.