An internal framework developed by the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) would address issues concerning workingwomen such as harassment, breastfeeding, women representation and child protection.

This was presented at a conference RENEW organised on November 24.

A standard internal framework was submitted to the Gender Focal Points in ministries and dzongkhags last month.

NCWC’s Programme Officer Kinley Dorji said that the standard internal framework would be used to develop frameworks for respective agencies. “The framework is a mandatory indicator for the dzongkhag annual performance agreement (APA) 2017-2018.”

Nine central agencies have developed the framework until today.

Following an assessment on the need of crèches, NCWC would also support establishment of nine crèches in central government agencies and informal sector.

Kinley Dorji said there are about 10 crèches in government, private and corporate sector. “This is also one of the mandatory indicators in the APA 2016-17 for the ministries and autonomous agencies.”

Also, to ensure a systematic and evidence based approach to provide effective and appropriate services to women and children in need of care and protection, the NCWC has developed a Central Management and Information System to house disaggregated data.

Developing a toll free helpline was also presented at the conference.

NCWC official said that the service would deal with all calls related to women and children. “Services such as emotional guidance, legal advice and referral for rehabilitation and reintegration would be executed by NCWC.”

NCWC would set up a contact center at NCWC premises, which will be a national helpline. The initiative is also a follow up to establish a uniform helpline number in the SAARC region.

The toll free service is expected to be available by the end of next year.

Kinley Dorji said NCWC is challenged with lack of human resources both in terms of number and capacity.

He added that protection services and facilities for women and children are not sufficiently in place. “For instance, not a single protection officer has been appointed and no Women and Child Welfare Committee has been instituted as required.”

NCWC has requested for three protection officers to be placed across the country to provide efficient service delivery.

Phurpa Lhamo