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SOPs for Shaheed Benazir Women Centers launched

ISLAMABAD, December 17 – Launching ceremony of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Shaheed Benaizr Buhtto Centers for Women was held today under the aegis of Ministry of Women Development, at a local hotel. Secretary of the Ministry of Women Development, Sarod Lashari, was chief guest of the ceremony.

Addressing the launch ceremony Ms Sarod Lashari said that the need for standardizing operations at the 23 operational Shaheed Benazir Centers for Women is a very important step towards provision of quality service to women survivors of violence.  She appreciated the role of Rozan in drafting the standard operating procedures. “Enhancing life quality of women of Pakistna is the join responsibility of government and civil society organizations”, she said. “It is a moment of satisfaction and happiness that the Ministry of Women Development and Rozan joined hands to standardize governance at the Shaheed Benazir Center for Women”. She also launched the SOPs booklets in Urdu and English.

Earlier, Saima Ashraf, Chairperson of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Center for Women – Islamabad, welcomed the guests. She also said that the women centers are playing a very important role in providing a safe, secure and enabling social space for survivors of gender violence.

Saliha Ramay, program coordinator at Rozan, shared details of the SOPs in a presentation. She said that the booklet, written in easy and comprehensive language, contains guidelines for managers and staff of the Shelters, Drop – in centers and Short Term Stay Centers. It also contains different document templates pertaining to admissions and discharge, information taking, counseling session forms as well as templates for procedural documents, she said. “The launch ceremony will be followed by a two – day training workshop for management of the Centers for Women”, Saliha said, outlining implementation strategy for the Standard Operating Procedures.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion addressed by Naeem Mirza, Khalida Saleemi and Saira Furqan. The speakers said that despite of being signatory to various international treaties on women rights, the Pakistani state has not been successful in eliminating gender injustice. Violence against women is a chronic issue in the Pakistani society, a speaker observed.

Khalida Saleemi said that the centers for women are different from traditional Dar – ul – Aman, as here the focus is on long term rehabilitation of the survivors, as well as their reintegration in the society. She also discussed, in detail, the objectives and history of centers for women.

A large number of civil society representatives, officials of the ministry of women development and the women centers, human and women rights activists and representatives of various NGOs, participated in the launching ceremony and seminar on human rights.(PR)

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