Two important commissions in KP are dysfunctional since years now. The surge in the violence against women and children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the dysfunctional KP Commission on Status of Women (KPCSW) and Child Protection Commission has put a question mark on the attitude of the KP government towards the eradication of the violence against women and children in the province.
Both these commissions are of much importance as they were established for the purpose of minimising the violence against the women and children who are considered the most vulnerable segment of the society.
According to many experts, both these commissions have been receiving much grants from the government but still they are yet to play their role in the purpose for which they were established.
If we talk about the KPCSW, which was formed in 2009 through an act of law to promote women’s rights and check discrimination against women, the most basic purpose to establish the commission was to have a regulatory monitoring body that can work with sister government organizations as well as with NGOs towards the emancipation of women, equalization of opportunities including socio-economic condition among women and men.
But due to the non-serious attitude of the KP government and some alleged political meddling, the commission is dysfunctional and is yet to officially form the district bodies even after 11 years of its formulation. Even though multiple huge grants of Rs 40 million were allocated for its activities, it has badly failed to reduce violence against women in the province.
According to the Aurat Foundation, an NGO working for women rights, an increase of 20 percent has been noted in cases of violence against women in KP; highlighting that murder & honour-killing was on top followed by other domestic violence issues.
As per the details released by the Aurat Foundation, the decade of state impunity (2009-2019), around 778 women were killed only in 2019, showing a steady rise in violence against women. As a whole, a total of 4,504 women and girls were reportedly killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last 11 years.
Other than addressing women issues, the Commission has a mandate to conduct research on the issues related to the women of KPK especially those living in the remote areas of the province. The step was aimed to advice and better informs government regarding women issues and helps the legislators to concentrate on relevant issues including Gender Based Violence.
It would have also helped NGO sector to better understand the current status of women in the light of facts provided through Research papers but unfortunately nothing has been done in this regard and no worthwhile research has been conducted so far.
Besides, the KPCSW another commission called Child Protection Commission which was established in 2011 by the then KP government is also almost dysfunctional and even the government is yet to appoint its head despite the fact that the commission is getting millions of grants since years.
According to the sources, in the welfare department, due to the political interference and despite the orders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, the provincial government has failed to establish the most awaited child protection centres in 12 districts of the province.
According to details, the KP government in fiscal year 2019-20 had released Rs.40.61 million as grant for establishment of these centres in 12 districts, but frequent political influence of some ministers remained a hurdle in its way and the huge amount was not spent until June 30 this year.
Moreover, according to the sources, in social welfare department of KP, one of the main reasons of the failure of the government to take measures towards making the centres functional was the ban on recruitments in all vacant posts of the commission and its district centres.
The sources claimed that the KP Minister for Social Welfare Hisham Inamullah had allegedly stopped the new recruitments due to some political goals and despite orders of the CM, no one had the courage to even discuss the issue in cabinet meetings.
For his comment, the Voice of KP called the minister frequently but he was not available.
It must be noted that Child Protection Law was introduced in 2010 and the Child Protection Commission was established in 2011 in KP. A total of 12 child protection centres were planned to be set up in 12 KP districts with the help of UNICEF in 2018 but the UNICEF withdrew its support from the commission which finally led to the closer of the project.
It is important to mention here that the KP government should urgently play its role in making both these commissions fully functional because both of these commissions were of much importance in term of minimizing the violence against women and Children.