Experts discuss policies related to gender-based violence

PESHAWAR  -  The Omar Asghar Khan Devel­opment Foundation, through its Aawaz II program, orchestrat­ed a provincial consultation fo­cusing on integrating commu­nity engagement and behaviour change initiatives within policies on gender-based violence, child marriage, and social cohesion. The event featured insights from community leaders and civil so­ciety experts, emphasizing effec­tive strategies aligned with poli­cy goals.

Government representatives, including the Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Depart­ment, Auqaf, Hajj, Religious and Minorities Affairs, and the Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa member of the National Commission on Hu­man Rights, actively participated. Chaired by Tariq Javed, Commis­sioner of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa National Commission for Human Rights, the event addressed the importance of citizen-state en­gagement.

Dr Yasmin Ziadi, Team Lead of Aawaz II, highlighted the pro­gram’s community structures, fos­tering meaningful engagement through village forums, district fo­rums, and Aawaz Agahi Centers. In the past four years, Aawaz II has established 738 forums across 37 districts, bringing together di­verse groups to address societal issues.

Speakers emphasized the pivot­al role of behaviour change in poli­cy implementation, advocating for public engagement through media platforms like social media, radio, and local communication cam­paigns. Maryam Bibi, Executive Di­rector of Khwendo Kor, stressed the necessity of including margin­alized voices, urging the govern­ment to ensure their meaningful participation.

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