By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, Aug 30 (Diplomatic Star): Ambassador of the United States in Pakistan Donald Blome on Wednesday said that the United States and Pakistan shared a conviction that promoting gender security means the full integration and participation of women in decision-making, law enforcement, justice, and peacekeeping.
Addressing an event on “Reflective Session on Gender Based Violence Reduction” held by Asia Foundation he said, “The United States and Pakistan’s shared interest in promoting gender security as a matter of justice and of prosperity. We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan in our shared goal of justice for all.”
He called for collective action and attention to tackle alarming rates of gender-based violence.
The ambassador said that women and girls continued to face discrimination, harassment, and violence solely based on their gender.
“This is a violation of their basic human rights and an affront to the principles of equality and justice that both our countries and the United Nations uphold” he added.
In late 2021, he said, the US government adopted its first ever national strategy on gender equality.
The strategy is the first US roadmap for addressing gender inequality both in our domestic and foreign policies.
Similarly, the ambassador said, Pakistan’s National Security Policy stated that “providing women and transgender persons a safe environment at home, in public spaces, and at the workplace are priorities for the country.”
He said, the Asia Foundation, its partners, and allies gathered here are championing this cause and baseline survey captures the extent of gender-based violence, identifies service gaps, and provides a blueprint for how to address them.
“Let us continue to work together to support a Pakistan that is safe, inclusive, and just for all its citizens” he added.
He appreciated the International Islamic Research Institute, whose collective experience and extensive scholarship on the nexus between gender equity and Sharia principles is helping root out misinformation and educate the public on the resources available to survivors of gender-based violence.
The ambassador said, “Today’s conversations are an important opportunity to highlight best practices for supporting survivors and increase public awareness about the impact these crimes have on individuals and on society.”
The event was also attended by Dr. Zia ul Haq, Director General of the Islamic Research Institute Rana Abdul Majeed, Prosecutor General of Punjab; Haris Qayum, Representative of the Asia Foundation; Dr. Samza Fatima; colleagues and friends.