Provincial Forum Meeting, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

OAKDF, Provincial Partner Aawaz II hosted the 17th Provincial Forum meeting in Peshawar on 28th May 2024.

Highlights include:

  • Updates on consultative process on marriage laws for Christians and Hindus in KP and inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in the process.
  • Updates on the registration of Guru’s with SWD to be reflected in the NADRA database.
  • Discussion on how to raise awareness on referral mechanism to the Child Protection Commission and follow up on the Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Bill
  • Discussion on including Aawaz II volunteers in the child protection committees in the districts where Aawaz II forums are present.

16th Meeting of Aawaz II's Provincial Forum in KP

19 March 2024, Peshawar

Since its inception in 2020, Aawaz II’s Provincial Forum in KP meets every quarter to review actions to promote social inclusion and work collectively to prevent gender-based violence and child marriage. At its 16th meeting, the Forum’s government and civil society members reviewed progress by its sub-committees.

Rights of religious minorities: the sub-committee reported multi-stakeholder consultations on rules of business to improve the implementation of the Hindu Marriage Act 2018. Members of the sub-committee including representatives of the Auqaf Department, the NCHR and non-Muslim communities will pursue the passage of these rules by engaging MPs elected in 2024. The sub-committee will also initiate similar efforts on Christian and Sikh marriage registration and inheritance rights. Existing laws will be reviewed and amendments or new legislation recommended, where needed.

Child rights: the sub-committee reported success in including individuals trained under Aawaz II in District Child Protection Committees of 14 KP districts. This helps institutionalize capacities built by the programme, and sustain outcomes beyond the project period. These nominations were made possible by the support of the Deputy Chief, KP Child Protection and Welfare Commission, who is also the chair of the Aawaz II PF. His support was duly acknowledged. It was agreed that the functioning of the committees will be tracked to ensure they optimally draw on the capacities of its members. Nominations from other districts will also be invited where Aawaz II’s downstream partners work. Engagement with MPs will also be pursued for the passage of the Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Bill.

Rights of persons with disabilities: the sub-committee reported that after the successful allocation of the Disabled Persons Rehabilitation (DPR) fund and development of its disbursement mechanism, further blocks were encountered in its activation. Representatives of the Social Welfare Department and disability rights groups that are part of this sub-committee will engage with related stakeholders to push for activating the DPR fund. Newly elected MPs will also be engaged on the passage of the Persons with Disabilities Bill.

Gender-based violence: the sub-committee reported presenting recommendations on investments to prevent GBV to the Chief Economist, Government of KP. These recommendations were drawn at an Aawaz II consultation convened in November 2023 to commemorate the #16DaysOfActivism It was agreed that the sub-committee will work with the Sub-National Governance programme to promote the recommended investments in KP’s budget for FY2024-25. With newly elected MPs, the sub-committee will pursue the amendment to the KPCSW Act so that District Committees on the Status of Women and the District Committees under the Domestic Violence Act 2021 may be made functional. Dialogue will also be initiated to revise and update the KP Women Empowerment Policy 2017.

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