US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the launch of the US-Pakistan Women’s Council, which aims to promote economic advancement of women in Pakistan.
A press release from the US State Department said that the State Department and American University in Washington DC would co-fund the council, in coordination with the Organisation of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America.
“American University President Dr Cornelius Kerwin and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer will serve as co-chairs,” said the press release.
The announcement of the US-Pakistan Women’s Council came on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The launch event was attended by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and envoy to the US Sherry Rehman.
“The council will connect US and Pakistani corporations, foundations, universities, and individual donors with programs in Pakistan that support economic opportunities for women – such as training in financial management, product development, market access, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The council will not be a grant-giving organisation, but rather will broker connections for collaboration to support such economic opportunities for women,” said the State Department.
The Embassy of Pakistan, in a press release, said, “The Council will utilise its resources, expertise, and network to identify needs in Pakistan, convene interested partners and members, and broker connections for collaboration.”
The council’s advisers will include senior officials from the US and Pakistan, and members of the Pakistani-American diaspora. “Council members will include Pakistani and US business and organisations committed to supporting the economic advancement of women,” said the press release.
The Embassy of Pakistan, in its press release, said that Khar and Rehman will be part of the advisory group.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2012.