SCSW demands gender-responsive budgets and policies

Nuzhat Shirin, chair of the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women (SCSW), has emphasised the need for continued attention and collaborative efforts to ensure that budgets and policies are aligned to improve the realities of women and girls in the province.

Nuzhat said that collaboration between public representatives, departments and also civil society is essential to overcome challenges and achieve improvements.

She was speaking at a round-table discussion titled ‘Sindh Budget FY2023-24: Promoting Gender-Responsive Budgeting and Climate Change Policies’, which was hosted by the SCSW in partnership with the Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation (OAKDF) and the Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre. Representatives of key government departments and civil society attended the meeting.

OAKDF Executive Director Rashida Dohad presented the findings of their analysis of the provincial government’s budget for the financial year 2023-24 categorised under six themes, including gender-based violence (GBV), women’s economic empowerment, social services, climate change and social protection.

SG Programme Director Humaira Shaikh presented the results of their analysis of women’s conditions in emergencies, and recommendations to improve response to climate change impacts.

In his opening comments, economist Dr Kaiser Bengali stressed the need for collaboration and consistent efforts to improve budgets that work for everyone, especially the more vulnerable.

Marvi Awan of the Women Protection Cell, Hyderabad, shared that budget allocations have enabled improvements in facilities made available to survivors of GBV. However, she pointed out, more training and other facilities are still needed.

Kamla Bai, elected local councillor from Tharparkar, voiced concern over the impact of climate change on fragile areas. Dr Talib Lashari, adviser to the provincial government, said that rules have been framed to help the implementation of the government’s family planning roadmap 2030.

In her concluding comments, MPA Shamim Mumtaz stressed the need for proper monitoring of facilities and services. She urged proper budget allocations for the more vulnerable.

Published at The News on 24th July 2023

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