PESHAWAR: Speakers in a seminar argued the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to provide protection to the women, children and transgender society and demanded to appoint ombudsperson for KP and provide equal rights to the vulnerable societies.
Strengthening the protection system for women and transgender in KP was the theme of the seminar organized by Dastak Charitable Trust in Peshawar on Tuesday at a local hotel.
Maryam Bibi, shared that civil society members need to channel their collective efforts towards the eradication of violence against women and transgender, focus on changing mindsets. She added that domestic violence is not private matter but an issue of public concern and must be recognized as such.
Secretary Provincial Commission on the Status of Women shared that the Commission is working at multiple levels on women protection and has started a Violence against Women pilot program in KP under which they will identify and address gaps in the medico-legal system, police and judiciary, establish a media cell and helpline for female victims of violence and setup 25 District Committees on the Status of Women out of which 23 have been notified already.
Saba Shaikh, Executive Director, Dastak shared that a strong protection system constitutes of effectives laws, social policies, easy access to justice, effective criminal justice system, rights-based advocacy and protection services such as shelters and crisis centers.
She added that shelters can play an important role in safeguarding the rights of women and government level shelters must adopt human-rights friendly SOPs to fully protect women in difficult circumstances and uphold their fundamental rights.
Farzana Jan president of transgender KP and the first transgender passport holder in the country, shared the story of her struggles for attaining better living standard in KP, highlighting that transgender lack adequate economic opportunities.
Tahira Kalim, said that according to the latest census there are only 10,000 transgender in entire country, which is an extremely conservative figure. She attributed this low figure to the stigma attached to declaring oneself as a transgender because of which most simply never disclose themselves as transgender.