Article # 11 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women clearly stipulates that State Parties shall take all measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment. Under CEDAW, the state is under obligation to make special provisions for women not only to gain employment but also by providing facilities, on equal basis with men.
Women Development Department, since its establishment in 2012, has been implementing the Punjab Women Empowerment Packages, which focuses on socio-economic empowerment of women. Resultantly, more and more women are joining the work force and the need for adequate residential facilities for working women is increasing.
To provide support to working women so that they can compete in modern day challenges, establishment of an endowment fund titled “Punjab Working Women Endowment Fund (PWWEF)” has been approved in the Punjab Women Empowerment Initiatives, 2014. Subsequently, a PWWEF Society is registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, to execute the objectives set forth in very establishment of the fund.
Government of the Punjab has provided the initial funding of Rs. 295 Million and further funding shall be carried out in phased manner. The amount of Rs. 295 Million has been invested through short term TDRs @ 5.75% for a period of three months with Bank of Punjab.
Objectives of Society
- Provide safe, secure, and economical accommodation to working women across the province
- Promote and encourage retention of women in the economic sphere and enhance their socio-economic status in society.
- Developing Database of existing similar organizations operating in private sector as per laid down SOPs
- Funding research and studies on need basis to fulfill the laid purposes.
- Sponsoring creating of comprehensive monitoring mechanism to ensure proper functioning.
- Funding for construction and up gradation of new and existing working women hostels.
- Sponsoring creating mechanism to ensure priority accommodation to low income salaried women.
FUNCTIONING OF MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
- Administrative and Financial Management of the Society
- Quorum shall be three forth of total members
- Shall appoint an Executive Committee to frame rules and standard operating procedures
- Empowered to frame and make rules
- Formulation of Investment plans and determination of eligibility criteria for financial assistance
- Constitution of sub-committees, as and when required, from amongst its members
- Preparation of an annual report for submission to the government
- To open and operate account with Bank or Banks
- Budget estimates and budget expenditures
- The Management Body shall form such rules and regulations for the conduct of the business of the society and, if so decide upon, be advised may appoint governing body for their / his assistance
- The Management Body has power to appoint such staff, assistants and employees on such remunerations as they may deem fit in the administration of the Society
FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The scope of functions must include but not be limited to the following.
- Administrative and HR Polices procedures of the PWWEFS.
- Financial procedures and guidelines for smooth functioning of organizations /institutions.
- Objective and quantifiable criteria for selection of beneficiaries provided that these criteria are meant to cover cases which are based on both merit and need not either one of these alone.
- Objective and reliable criteria for selection of Working Women PWWEFS and institutions according to minimum public health and safety standards in which Women are to be provided with affordable and quality residential facilities.
- Preparation of list of eligible Working Women for PWWEFS
- Rules of procedure whereby the beneficiaries are identified finalized and approved/rejected.
- Rules governing investment, decisions regarding funds in the investment account of the PWWEFS
CRITERIA FOR REGISTRATION OF HOSTELS
In order to provide better and secure accommodation the following criteria is proposed for dissemination of funds to deserving working women to support their accommodation charges:
- All Working Women Hostels shall be registered with the society as a member
- The bye-laws of the society shall be applicable to all members
- All member hostels shall maintain minimum approved standards duly approved by Managing Committee of the society
- All member hostels shall be physically monitored once in six months and the monitoring report shall be submitted to Managing Committee
- Any member hostel shall be expelled for violation of rules by Managing Committee
CRITERIA FOR REGISTRATION OF BENEFICIARIES:
Proposed procedure with regard to registration of working women:-
- Employee in any government/semi-government/registered private organization;
- Monthly pay ceiling for eligibility shall be less than Rs. 20,000/
- Local area resident Working Women will not be accommodated
- Initial period of grant/support shall be for six months and shall be extended for another six months. Further extension shall be granted by Managing Committee
- Married, unmarried, divorced or widowed women may apply for financial support
- No student is not eligible to apply under this scheme
Minutes of Meeting: