J&K State Women Commission all set to reach out to Jammu women at districts level

JAMMU, NOV 20: With the shifting of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat to Jammu for the next six winter months, the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Women (J&K SCW) is also all set to launch massive awareness campaigns regarding women rights and issues through its various interventions in all the ten districts of Jammu province.

The team of J&K SCW led by its dynamic chairperson Ms Nayeema Ahmed Mahjoor who has been an internationally acclaimed BBC journalist is resuming its awareness programmes from the districts falling in Chenab valley from coming Tuesday. The Commission has planned awareness programmes in Bhaderwah and Doda areas from Tuesday with the facilitation of the district administration. Hundreds of women are expected to throng such awareness camps where the issues related to their lives are resolved there and then only thus providing a much required relief to the women who are faced with several issues in their lives including domestic violence, matrimonial issues, harassment, dowry etc.

“As such, the Jammu office of our State Women’s Commission is open all the 12 months here in Jammu city at Pragati Bhawan, Rail Head Complex and anybody can walk in with their problems,” informs Ms Mahjoor adding that the Commission, as its objective to reach out to the women of Jammu province in their own respective areas of residence, is resuming its first mass campaign of these winters, from 22nd of November from Bhaderwah.

The Commission would be involving the Anganwadi workers, Asha workers, District Social Welfare Offices, colleges and even the regional University campuses for its mass awareness programmes which have been very successful in the past too.

The office of J&K Commission for Women (SCW) nowadays teems with women carrying hope in their eyes and petitions in their hands. Coming from varied age groups and social backgrounds they know who to turn to in times of crises or when the police refuse to hear them.

Ms Mahjoor who has completed over a year as SCW chief is working overtime to strengthen the commission. On an average, her Commission receives 8-10 cases daily in Kashmir valley and 5-10 cases in Jammu region which are mostly on separation from husband or kids, drugs, alcohol etc.

The J&K State Commission for Women has the powers of a civil court in terms of examining matters of rights and security of women within Jammu and Kashmir. It had been established to protect women’s rights and advance the cause of women in the State. Although the members of the Commission are appointed by the State Government, the Commission itself is independent and functions in a quasi-judicial capacity, having the powers of a civil court in matters relating to evidence. As the National Commission for Women (NCW) has no jurisdiction over Jammu and Kashmir, thus the State Commission has a very important role to play to mitigate the sufferings of its women.

Ms Mahjoor informs that in Kashmir valley, there is lot of awareness among the women about them but in Jammu, the women are not even aware about the existence and functioning of Women’s Commission. “Thus is it important for us to spread this message and then reach out to the women,” she asserts adding that as women from far flung areas are not able to come to us at Jammu, it is imperative us to reach out to these women in their own respective areas, hence our outreach awareness programmes.

And the methodology of handling women’s issues devised by the chairperson is something unique. In such awareness programmes, all the women’s problems are resolved there only as the redressal mechanism is to sort out the issues with the help of police, district administration and other related institutions on spot only by the chairperson Ms Mahjoor.

“How can the women who have come to us with great hope, visit us in Jammu if we give her a date of hearing. I try to resolve the case there only in such awareness programmes and this methodology has proved to be very successful”, informs the JKSCW chairperson

The Commission, in the next few months, would also be traveling to Poonch and Rajouri, most probably in the months of January and then to Samba and Kathua to listen to women’s issues and resolve them.

The Commission would be in Srinagar from 5-20th December next month also where more than hundred cases are enlisted for quick redressal.