Launch Of Report Of Women’s Access To Justice In Balochistan (WAJIB) Project

Launch of report of Women’s Access to Justice in Balochistan (WAJIB) Project

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th May, 2024) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan implemented a project to promote access to justice mechanisms for women, girls and transgender persons in Balochistan.

The project focused on strengthening linkages between the provincial government and vulnerable communities to protect socio-cultural, economic and environmental rights. Notable achievements were the drafting of the “Women’s Access to Property Bill” for the Province and establishment of gender desks in Quetta and Pishin, which processed more than 4,000 legal aid cases, said a press release issued here.

To celebrate the project’s completion, the Embassy of Germany and UNDP met with women leaders from Quetta and Pishin as well as with representatives from the Balochistan Commission on the Status of Women (BCSW), the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), the Women Development Department Balochistan, and the Social Welfare Department Balochistan.

In her opening remarks, Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Pakistan thanked the Government of Germany for their support and applauded the determination and commitment of the women of Balochistan in leading their communities and engaging with key stakeholders to ensure gender-responsive policy making. “WAJIB supported the Provincial Multistakeholder Human Rights Coordination Network, which brought together local women leaders, human rights institutions, civil society organizations, legal experts, government line departments, and vulnerable communities to ensure gender-responsive and gender-sensitive policy making.

This included developing action plans to implement existing policies and drafting new policies, for example Balochistan’s first gender-sensitive ‘Media Code of Conduct,” she added.

The opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion on the achievements. Fouzia Shaheen, Chairperson BCSW, spoke about her involvement in the process, “We have been a part of the trajectory of the project and I can very confidently say that WAJIB has created significant space and capacity for gender responsive decision making, policy and legislation development. The ‘Women’s Access to Property Bill’ in Balochistan is a point of reference.”

Farkhanda Aurangzeb, Member Balochistan NCHR, highlighted the partnership between the NCHR and WAJIB, saying that “The WAJIB not only supported the equitable inclusion of grassroots women’s voices in decision making, but also responded to emergency situations such as the 2022 catastrophic flash floods in Balochistan.

This gender-sensitive response placed emphasis on ensuring women’s access to relief services, in partnership with the National Commission for Human Rights.”

German Ambassador Grannas, in his closing remarks, spoke about the strength of WAJIB, noting that “Marginalized women and men, along with their communities, persons with disabilities, those from minority groups, and transgender people were included in every consultative process. This approach ensured that all stakeholders, particularly local women and their civil-society organisations equally contributed to stabilising at-risk communities.”

UNDP’s DHL project works towards gender-equal governance at national and sub-national levels to support citizen-state dialogue and build social trust. DHL strengthens resilience in local communities, especially in vulnerable and at-risk segments of the population. This is achieved through communication, advocacy and capacity development for governments, national human rights institutions and civil-society organisations.