Islamabad: U.S. Ambassador Olson joined politicians, human rights advocates, and religious leaders at an event called “Engaging men in the fight against gender violence” and reaffirmed the U.S. government’s commitment to curb gender-based violence. The Higher Education Commission hosted the event.
After opening remarks by Dr. Javaid Leghari, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission, Ambassador Olson joined a panel discussion that was attended by an audience of more than 180 university students and officials from across Pakistan.
The panel featured Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Social Issues, UN Gender Advisor Dr. Salman Asif, religious scholar Azhar Hussain, and Imran Rizvi, head of “Men Engage Pakistan”.
The event highlighted the U.S. government’s commitment to seeking ways to prevent violence against women and girls and provided an opportunity for the participants to focus on the important role men and boys can play in effectively combating gender-based violence.
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It is a global issue that cuts across ethnic, racial, socio-economic, and religious lines, and knows no borders,” said Ambassador Olson in opening remarks.
“Ending it will require fully engaging the largest and most natural group of supporters women should have: men. The United States believes that investing in women and girls is one of surest ways to achieve economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for Pakistani women – and men.
That’s why I’m delighted to be here today to take part in this discussion about ways we can work together to help Pakistani women and girls lift up their families, their communities, and their nation.