‘Local government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is significant as it will help build social capital, improve the delivery of public services, and help citizens assert their rights.” Ms. Farida Shaheed, Executive Director, Shirkat Gah & Member-Aawaz-II Provincial Forum emphasised in her key note address at the Aawaz–II consultation on Social Inclusion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s New Local Government. Better facilities for birth, marriage/divorce registration at the Village/Neighbourhood Council level will reduce gender-based violence and early-age marriage. About 100 activists, including newly elected councillors, electoral contestants and voters, especially trans persons, non-Muslims and persons with disabilities, from 5 districts of KP attended the consultation. Participants emphasized the need for training of elected councillors and their coordination with local administration, civil society and people. T
he consultation suggested that elected councils at the village/neighbourhood and Tehsil levels seek ways to include marginalized groups in development planning. They asserted that Aawaz-II can play an effective role in supporting citizen engagement with local government and strive for the involvement of marginalized groups in using the opportunities it presents for better services and reduced vulnerabilities.