QUETTA    -   Chairperson of the Commission on Status of Women Balochistan Fauzia Shaheen on Wednesday said that it was important to formulate an effective strategy to deal with issues of affected people including women and children in disaster-stricken areas of the province and protect natu­ral disasters. In this regard, the Gender and Child Protection Desk of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) should be developed on modern lines and activated, she expressed while talk­ing to the head of FDI Pakistan, Uzma Yaqoob who called on her here Wednes­day. They discussed the problems of women and children in flood-affected areas. Uzma Yaqoob said that the Com­mission was playing a key role in guid­ing all the victims in the right direction, including women, children, people with disabilities, the elderly and transgender people in the rain and flood affected ar­eas of Balochistan. Action plans for pre­vention and reporting of sexual and gen­der-based violence should be formulated and PDMA and concerned district ad­ministrative bodies should take action­able measures to address the identified issues besides prioritizing the needs of the victims, she said. Uzma Yaqoob said that the importance and need of Wom­en’s Crisis Centers in the flood affected areas was increased, so the Commission should provide the necessary training to the staff for these Centers to activate them and cooperate with all the district level institutions to obtain certified data. The existing helpline services on number 1089 in the affected areas should be re­viewed and the obstacles should be re­moved, she underlined. 

Chairperson of the Commission Fauzia Shaheen said that in the flood-affected areas of Balochistan, efforts were being made to formulate an effective strategy with the cooperation of administrative and relief agencies and civil society. She said that the people of such disaster areas which were located in the disas­ter red zone would be given conscious awareness to deal with the sudden situ­ation. Fauzia Shaheen said that currently, three crisis centers were active in Quetta, Sibi and Khuzdar area of Balochistan to help women, while fast paced work was in progress on Crisis Centers in Naseer­abad, Loralai and Turbat districts. She said that there was a need to make the existing laws more effective and imple­ment them to prevent gender-based dis­crimination and attitudes. She said Act for Reforms in Dar-ul-Aman and a draft for combating gender based violence were being consulted. 

The technical assistance of FDI in aware­ness programs including the neces­sary amendments in the existing laws and legislation for the protection of the rights of women children and oppressed classes will help in achieving the goals, adding that in this regard, after the sign­ing of the regular memorandum of un­derstating (MoU), the implementation of collaborative measures would be started without delay.