KARACHI - Women Development Department Sindh (WDDS) has requested the federal government to increase the budget for WDD shelter homes up to Rs40 million, Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto, provincial minister for WDD, told The Nation here on Friday. "Previously, the amount allocated for the shelter houses was not sufficient to meet the needs of the women population of the province. The government should take concrete steps in order to ensure the protection of the fairer sex in Sindh. Now, the government should take bold steps. We hope that the promises made would be implemented and not verbal assurances," she added. To a question regarding amendment bill that has been presented to the Federal Law Minister Farooq Naik, she said that the amendment bill regarding the implementation of law for the rights of women was being considered by the law ministry. The federal law minister has ensured the WDD that the ministry will take substantial steps to solve the problems in existing law for women protection. Fatima said: "WDD has recommended to the government that the fining amount for honour killing and sexual harassment should be brought down. In case of punishment and police custody some more measures should be taken. The law minister has ensured us that the government will look up to the matter seriously." "The number of shelter houses is the basic issue that has been faced by the WDD. Due to shortage of funds, we have cut down our budget for the shelter houses. These shelter homes not only supply asylum to the women who have faced brutality by the hands of their families and sometimes society, but also to their families who face life threats afterward. The department has its shelter houses only at division level. There is a great need to expand these existing shelter houses on the district level," she added. Fatima said that the mega city like Karachi faces shortage of shelter homes. WDD had established only 2 shelter homes in the city of 20 million population. These shelter houses should be at least 10 in the metropolis. This situation was sufficient to suggest the condition of ongoing crisis in the province as a whole. "There is another case in which a 20-year-old married woman, Farzana, from Kashmore has been the victim of violence by her husband and his family. We have admitted her to the Civil Hospital and the doctors have assured her good health and protection. We hope that the number of cases of violence against women will be curtailed in future. Media should also highlight the arrests that have been made in such violent cases. This will highlight our progress as well along with the law agencies."