Pakistan Christian Post Is Your Voice Since 2001

AWAM organizes leadership training for women with disabilities

Faisalabad: August 12, 2010. (By Shazia George) Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) organized three-day leadership training for achieving equal rights for women with disabilities on August 06-08, 2010. The prime objective of the training was to impart leadership skills among women with disabilities and enable them to speak up for their rights. 30 Muslim and Christian participants actively participated in the leadership training held at Centre for Peace and Harmony in Faisalabad. The resource persons of the training included Naseem Anthony (Executive Secretary-AWAM), Dr. Zahida Naz, Abia Akram (Coordinator-STEP), Saima Williams (Coordinator-NCJP), Nazia Sardar, Shazia George and Mumtaz Kousar.

Naseem Anthony said, “We must engage rather than isolate persons with disabilities in public life in order to enable them lead an independent and confident life, free of barriers and discrimination.”

Dr. Zahida Naz said, “Government offers few benefits for persons with disabilities such as; 2% reserved quota in govt. jobs and educational institutes, 50% concession on govt. transportation, free medical treatment in public-sector hospitals and import of duty free items, but appointing persons with disabilities on reserved job quota in order to minimize the sense of deprivation and inferiority complex among them is the responsibility of labour department.”

Abia Akram said, “Persons with disabilities face discrimination, prejudice, hatred and injustice throughout their lives, therefore it is imperative for the government to pay special attention towards resolves to the problems of persons with disabilities.”

Saima Williams said, “Government is failed to eliminate discriminatory laws and customary practices against women and to ban informal courts, despite her commitment to safeguard the rights of women through ratification of UN convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) by govt. of Pakistan in 1996.”

Mumtaz Kousar said, “In Pakistan, females are brought up in a manner that they do not feel discrimination and injustice towards them by their families; the result is that they face multiple handicap and discrimination due to gender and disability.”

The participants in order to mainstream disability unanimously approved a resolution and called upon the Government to: ratify UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) for addressing the problems and needs of persons with disabilities; take practical measures for making disability registration process easy, accessible and speedy in order to mitigate the sufferings of persons with disabilities; ensure strict implementation of all privileges, policies and legislation concerning persons with disabilities; eliminate the tariffs, duties and taxes imposed on assistive devices and vehicles for the persons with disabilities; take steps ensuring easy access to educational institutes, health facilities, rehabilitation centres, employment, transportation, public buildings and places, based on universally accepted standards for all persons with disabilities; repeal discriminatory laws against women such as Hudood Ordinance, Qisas and Diyat Ordinance and Qanoon-e-Shahadat, in order to give equality to women; outlaw customary practices and informal courts (Jirga/Panchayat) and take punitive actions against the violators.