KARACHI - Corruption and unprofessional approach in the Woman Development Department during the previous governments has remained the major reasons for suffering condition of women in the province. In an interview to The Nation, Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto, provincial minister for woman development Sindh, disclosed that the cases of violence against women in the province were still occurring almost every week. She has tried her best to curtail this ratio but it is still lagging behind in bringing it to an end in the province. Corruption in the department during previous government has left us with shortage of funds for woman development, the provincial and federal governments are now showing reluctance over the issue of allocated budget of the ministry, she added. We are facing difficulty in completion of our projects as bureaucracy and even the district governments of Sindh are putting hurdles in our way. We want all these off-putting forces to realise that it is now time to work for the betterment of women in the province, said Fatima. About the allocation of funds to the ministry, she said that the ministry had asked the government to audit the funds of ministry of last few years, and the government had done so. We only demand the government to take the focal person from the ministry in order to resolve the issue of corruption. About the achievements of the ministry, Fatima said that the ministry had been successful in its attempt to provide micro finance to the home industrial units where the working women are getting the benefit. We want to reduce the dependence of our village women on the middleman for the sale of their products, as this usually deprive them of their due rights. Secondly, the ministry has first time given the floor to the women from Sindh to display their handicraft works. It has organised exhibitions at Expo Centre and PC Hotel in Karachi, this has helped these women a lot to lessen their dependence on middleman. The handicraft work of these women has been displayed on national level for the first time, we are planning to take it on international level in future, she added. The ministry has developed few complaint centres in Sindh and four centres under the supervision of federal government are working here. Out of 23 districts in the province, only 12 districts have complaint centres, she added that we are unable to establish more centres in the province because of the bureaucracy and influential people of these areas. Fatima said that they want to develop these centres in all the districts of the province, so that those women who had been the victim of any violence can report and get help for themselves. But it is very unfortunate that we have done not much because of direct or indirect pressures from influential people, she maintained. There are also few shelter houses in the province which are not sufficient to meet the needs of Sindh which are situated in Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Jacobabad, Karachi and Mirpurkhas, she added. To a question regarding the working women hostels in the province, she added that our goal is to establish working women hostels in Sindh as there are very few hostels for the women population. Right now, 6 working women hostels in the province which are under different land grabbers, these hostels are located in Larkana, Sukkur and Karachi. Their cases are in the courts but we feel that we should establish these hostels in other buildings to avoid any anguish or problem in future. Fatima further mentioned that the ministry has also worked for life stock, agriculture sector and jail reforms. Up till now, 50 needy women have been released after providing bail security and fines. We have also helped the poor juveniles from abroad facing different punishments due to non-bail payments, the ministry has paid on their behalf and now they are freed.