SWAT: Representatives of civil society organisations here on Saturday demanded of the government to ensure participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs), women and transgender persons in the political process to help strengthen democracy.

They made the demand during media talk about the rights of the marginalised sections of society.

The function was organised by Trust for Democracy, Education and Accountability (TDEA).

Civil society members Dr Yasmeen Gul, Syed Jamal Shah, Shagufta Jan and others spoke on the occasion.

They said that women, PWDs and transgender persons formed part of the deprived section in Malakand division and it was the collective responsibility of civil society members, government departments and elected representatives to play their role in giving them their rights.

“Unfortunately, PWDs, women and transgender persons were not treated equally in our society, especially in rural communities, due to which they were deprived of their rights,” said Dr Yasmeen Gul, who in collaboration with TDEA works for welfare of the deprived persons in Malakand division.

She said there were certain laws about the rights of such people, but they were not fully implemented.

“We have conducted various sessions with the line departments and political parties for securing the rights of the marginalised people,” she said.

Shagufta Jan, a transgender, said the transgender community faced multiple issues in society.

“We are harassed and not given proper attention by the line departments,” she complained, adding the third option for gender identity for transgender persons in the computerised national identity card had many limitations as they were not allowed to perform Haj or Umrah.

Jan added they were also not given the right to inheritance.

Jamal Shah, president of Roshni, said due to their consultations with communities and sessions with line departments a one-window operation was started wherein issues of the PWDs and transgender persons were resolved on the spot.

The speakers demanded of the government to provide an enabling environment to deprived persons in different service-providing offices.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2021

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