ISLAMABAD - Leading corporations discussed their efforts to enforce laws protecting women from workplace sexual harassment with more than 200 academics, social activists, US alumni, university students, and working women on Tuesday at the International Islamic University.
US Embassy Islamabad's Counsellor for Public Affairs Angela Aggeler delivered opening remarks at the event, saying, "This anti-sexual harassment law passed because civil society groups worked together with members of Parliament who shared their vision of justice in the workplace. This type of collaboration is already benefiting women across Pakistan, as hundreds of women have taken legal action against sexual harassment in their workplace." Aggeler concluded, "We need to work together - international community, the government, the private sector, civil society, and grassroots advocates - to let Pakistanis know that gender-based violence is a serious human rights abuse."
US Department of State's Senior Advisor on Gender Based Violence, Saba Ghori, moderated a panel of experts including Fouzia Saeed, an activist who worked with the Women's Parliamentary Caucus for the passage of the Protection Against Harassment of Women in the Workplace Act, Syeda Kiran Zaidi human resource specialist, Faisal Mushtaq CEO Roots School System, and Dr Munazza Yaqoob from IIU.
Hosted by the US Embassy Islamabad and the US-Pakistan Women's Council, the event was part of US support for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. The international campaign started on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ended on December 10, International Human Rights Day.
The United States supports efforts to end gender-based violence around the world. As Secretary Kerry has stated, "Investing in girls is a critical part of our duty to promote prosperity, security, and peace around the world. Empowered girls grow up empowered women. They grow up to be empowered mothers, leaders, and innovators."
The US-Pakistan Women's Council, launched by former Secretary Clinton in 2012, and supported by Secretary Kerry, links US and Pakistani corporations and universities to initiatives that advance economic opportunities and education for women in Pakistan.