ISLAMABAD - The High Commission of Canada, Islamabad has hosted its second annual Girls in Sports Gala and Banff Mountain Film Festival.
In partnership with Right to Play, the Festival brought together over 200 girls as well as a diverse audience of notable female athletes, women’s rights activists, government officials, diplomats, and local not-for-profit organizations supporting the empowerment of women and girls through sport, said a news release issued by the embassy. The festival featured inspirational films, engaging discussions, sports activity stations, as well as handicraft and food stalls, which highlighted the impacts of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), particularly in the areas of women’s entrepreneurship, empowerment and socio-economic inclusion.
The CFLI supports local partners with modest funding for small-scale, high-impact projects. The festival also intended to encourage and inspire the next generation of female athletes in Pakistan. It was an opportunity to provide awards to two notable girls’ sports teams, the Islamabad Girls Basketball team and the Chitral Girls Ice Hockey team, both of which won their respective national championships. The event also featured a panel discussion moderated by renowned journalist and filmmaker Munizae Jahangir that highlighted the achievements and contributions of Pakistani women who have excelled in their respective fields, as well as male allies supporting the inclusion of females in sports. The Banff Mountain Film Festival, which the High Commission of Canada hosted for the second time in multiple locations in Pakistan, is one of several key initiatives which promotes cultural exchange and dialogue between Canada and Pakistan, and which will contribute to advancing shared priorities on climate action for a greener, sustainable future.
Addressing the occasion, Canadian High Commissioner, Leslie Scanlon said: “The empowerment of women and girls is not just a matter of human rights; it is also an essential ingredient for sustainable development and economic growth. Canada remains committed to advancing gender equity and promoting the rights of women and girls, both at home and abroad. ”