‘Moving from the Margins: mainstreaming persons with disabilities in Pakistan’, University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow and British Council Pakistan would like to invite you to attend the launch of a report from the British Council Pakistan entitled: ‘Moving from the Margins: mainstreaming persons with disabilities in Pakistan’ at an event at the University of Glasgow on 29th August 2014 at 2:30pm.

Persons with disabilities (PwDs) are among the most marginalised groups in Pakistan – unheard and unseen – while government efforts aimed at mainstreaming this group into society are equally inconspicuous.

Research and reports around PwDs in Pakistan have traditionally taken a medically-focused approach, often highlighting support, care and access from a health perspective. A critical social dimension to disability is missing. To fill this gap, British Council Pakistan commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to study the socio-cultural and economic barriers that impact PwDs in Pakistan.

This research report aims to shed light on society’s perception of disability, education and training opportunities for PwDs, and extent of their economic participation. The analysis will cover differences by gender, socio-economic status and provinces in Pakistan. The report will not only identify barriers and challenges, but also positive developments around mainstreaming PwDs. Findings will be based on interviews conducted with 50 stakeholders ranging from policymakers, NGOs, teachers, employers, PwDs and their caregivers.

The purpose of this report is also to inform policy and policy makers. The first challenge to effective policies lies in the patchiness and paucity of data: Pakistan’s last survey of PwDs, for example, took place in 1998, and estimates of the number of PwDs today range from 5m to 18m. There is also limited government commitment by way of legislation that recognises rights of PwDs, further perpetuating a deep stigma individuals face. The lack of representation and access to social protection programmes restricts their access to education and employment, keeping them at the peripheries of society.


1430       Reception

1500      Welcome from University of Glasgow by Professor Neal Juster, Senior Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor University of Glasgow

Welcome Address by Peter Upton, Country Director British Council Pakistan

1515      Presentation of key findings of the Report by Dr Maryam Rab, Director Research Evaluation and Monitoring (REMU), British Council, Pakistan

1525      Panel Discussion – Chaired by Peter Upton  followed by a Question and answer session


  • Muhammad Sarwar, Governor Punjab, Government of Pakistan
  • Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE., Head of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, British Council, UK
  • Professor Nick Watson, Strathclyde Centre for Disability
  • Dr Jamila Khatoon, Medical Doctor and University of Glasgow Alumnus

1640      Life as PWD – disability, life and sports by Hannah Dines GB Para-cyclist and International Race Runner

1650      Chief Guest’s Address by Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs & International Development, Scottish Government

1700      Action Points and Closing Remarks by Dan Walsh, Consultant, REMU & Head of Diversity Unit, British Council Pakistan

The University of Glasgow aims to ensure that people have equal access to public events. If you need alternative formats or other reasonable adjustments, please contact Stuart Forsyth on 0141 330 4831 or via email (Stuart.Forsyth@glasgow.ac.uk) with your request by close of business, 22nd August 2014 so that arrangements, where possible, can be made.

To confirm your attendance and reserve a space visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/moving-from-the-margins-mainstreaming-persons-with-disabilities-in-pakistan-tickets-12286530343 or contact Stuart Forsyth directly.


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