Women distress fund to be functional from next month | Pakistan Today

Women distress fund to be functional from next month

ISLAMABAD: Women in Distress and Detention Fund (WDDF), established to facilitate women in need of legal aid and assistance would likely be functional in a month.

Under the new amendment in the WDDF Act, the board of directors has been reduced to nine members from nineteen, which would be notified soon.

Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) Director General Muhammad Arshad told APP that they have received nominations of seven members including one each from lower and upper house of parliament, while four members required from each province

Nominations from Sindh and Balochistan have been received and the board would be notified as soon as they get the names from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he informed.

According to the new amendment of section 6, Act XV of 1996- in section 6, in sub section (I), for clauses (i) to (viii), minister-in-charge of the administrative division will be chairperson of the fund, whereas one woman member each of the National Assembly and the Senate to be nominated by the speaker and the chairman respectively; secretary of the administrative division, one woman prominent social worker from each province to be nominated by the provincial governments and an officer in BS-20 or above of the administrative division will be member–cum-secretary.

The fund, established in 1996, currently contains more than Rs46 million non-lapsable fund remained inactive for last 21 years due to various legal issues putting a backfoot on the real purpose of the act.

The fund was expected to ensure legal help to women in detention or distress, women in detention (under trial, convicted or in Darul Aman), for books, payment of the stipend, or to women assigned teaching jobs.

It was also supposed to serve the purpose of providing assistance to women in cases of extreme hardship for purposes of rehabilitation, disabled women, women suffering from serious ailments, medical aid and burn cases etc.


The MOHR received Rs 20.3 million among the total amount of Rs 35 million, reserved for its three projects in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19.

The allocated amount was spent on the three projects, including establishment of National Institute of Human Rights, Islamabad, implementation of the action plan for human rights in Pakistan, institutional strengthening of Ministry of Human Rights, official sources told APP.

Under the PSDP 2018-19, Rs 10 million were reserved for the establishment of National Institute of Human Rights, Islamabad, among which Rs 7.1 million were released in the said duration.

While Rs 10 million were allocated for Implementation of Action Plan for Human Rights in Pakistan and the MOHR received Rs 4.6 million.

An amount of Rs 15 million were earmarked for Institutional Strengthening of Ministry of Human Rights among which the ministry got Rs 8.6 million so far.

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