The US-Pakistan Women’s Council hosted a special event at the US State Department to commemorate the second anniversary of the Council. The event focused on “Increasing Women’s Economic Participation in Pakistan”. Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani spoke at the event. The US Ambassador-at-Large for Women’s issues, Catherine Russell, chaired the event and was joined by Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani and President of American University Neil Kerwin.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador noted that nothing empowers women more effectively than creating greater economic and employment opportunities for them. With this in mind, both US and Pakistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May this year on Joint Efforts to Enable the Economic Empowerment of Women and to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship. The MOU provides a mechanism for ensuring that women participate fully in the economy and have access to economic, as well as trade and investment opportunities. The Ambassador stressed that this is where the US-Pakistan Women Council could play a key role in identifying trade and investment opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan and the US. He also highlighted that enhanced market access for Pakistani products, particularly in the textile sector, which is the largest employer of women in Pakistan could really go a long way in economically empowering the women of Pakistan. He urged the Council and its board to look at this more closely and seriously to identify ways in which the Council can help Pakistani textile exports and other products, including jewelry secure greater access to the US market.
The members of the Executive Board of the Council, its Executive Director and participants from Karachi and Islamabad also joined the meeting through video link.
October 30, 2014