Published On: Fri, Mar 10th, 2023
Published in Category: General

Masood Khan for women’s greater participation in decision-making in poverty eradication, rights protection, digital access

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WASHINGTON: “Women’s voices must influence decision-making especially for eradication of poverty, protection of women’s rights, including their right to education, and addressing inequality in digital access,” said Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Ambassador Sardar Masood Khan, in his video message, emphasized upon the need for working together for an inclusive world.

He said that Pakistan’s founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, decades ago had said that no nation could rise to the height of glory unless women stood side by side with men. “Our own religion, Islam, enjoins equality and equity for women. If we fully implement the tenets of our faith, all forms of discrimination against women would be eliminated. Gender equity should be in our national DNA,” Ambassador said. “Now embracing equity for women has become a universal norm,” he said.

Ambassador Masood Khan said that Pakistani women have demonstrated their leadership in different spheres of life. “Madar-e-Millat Fatima Jinnah is the revered, iconic figure for mobilizing women in our independence movement. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto became the first woman Prime Minister in the Islamic world. Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar became the first woman Foreign Minister of Pakistan,” he said.

The Ambassador said that Pakistan’s women lawmakers, cabinet ministers, judges, civil servants, entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors, engineers, educationists and writers were leading national development endeavors. “Pakistani-American women leaders have made us proud by rising to eminent positions in diverse fields,” he said.

The Ambassador also paid tribute to scores of Pakistani women Ambassadors who have been trendsetters in their own right in diplomacy. “This is not a time to sit on our laurels, but to rededicate ourselves to empowering women because their exclusion in any form has huge costs for the nation and the world,” he said.

Masood Khan also thanked Pakistani American diaspora and the United States Government for investing in women’s empowerment in Pakistan.

In his press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, Tuesday, said that the U.S. government has awarded over 6000 scholarships and 60% of the scholarships were awarded to the women as part of U.S. government’s support for women’s higher education. He said that U.S. Ambassador in Islamabad, Donald Blome, has announced 500 scholarships for Pakistani university students from the flood affected districts which would assist them, including the female students, to complete their studies.