Punjab Minister for Women Welfare Hameeda Waheeduddin has said that the government has been striving to provide rights to the women, saying that protection of the women rights is the basic responsibility of the state. The government has established a separate department to protect the women rights.

She stated this while talking to the newsmen here. She said that the PML-N government was amending existing laws and making necessary legislation to curb valance against women including acid throwing, torture on women in all shapes and women’s harassment. She said that end to heinous crime against women would also help to empower the women and building their capacity to bring them into mainstream for national development and prosperity, adding that active participation of women in national policy-making would pave the way for sustainable development as they made more than 50 percent of the population.

She said that the provincial government has also established free helpline service in all the districts of Punjab in a bid to halt crime against women, besides, promoting awareness about the women‘s rights in society. The minister said that no society or nation could prosper without the education and development of the women, adding that no one could negate the significance of the women role in nation’s building and development.

The provincial minister revealed that the government has also increased quota for women in government departments from five percent to 15 percent. She disclosed that the “Rozgar Bank” was also being established in the province in which 30 percent quota had been reserved for the women.

Hameeda Waheeduddin disclosed that the Punjab government had allocated special funds of Rs1.86 billion in the budget for 2014-15 to ensure economic development of the women.

She said that the provincial government was also encouraging the establishment of hostels for working women to provide better and secured residential facilities to working women.

She claimed that 118,702 women had got loans on soft terms under the Punjab Chief Minister’s Self Employment Scheme launched to empower women, adding that 42 percent women could get these loans under the scheme during the fiscal year 2014-15.

The provincial minister informed that 800,000 women across Punjab would be given necessary training in advanced skills under Punjab CM’s Skill Development Scheme during the next four years.