Islamabad, September 22, 2016 – American Counselor for Public Affairs Christina Tomlinson joined members of the National Assembly and nongovernmental organization representatives today to celebrate the achievements of Pakistani women with disabilities. At the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) Conference, she emphasized the importance of supporting the rights of women with disabilities so they can fully participate in all aspects of society.
“Promoting disability rights is an integral part of our efforts to promote human rights more broadly,” she said. “We want to remove barriers and create a world in which disabled people everywhere enjoy dignity and full inclusion. We work with governments and organizations like STEP to protect and promote the rights of disabled persons, and provide practical support to ensure their inclusion and full participation in society.”
This conference marks the conclusion of a one-year, $375,000 program to support Pakistani women with disabilities funded by the American Embassy and implemented by STEP. Throughout the past year, STEP has organized more than 90 training sessions, TV talk show discussions, and provincial workshops to increase public and Pakistani government awareness about the rights of women with disabilities and to provide livelihood training for women with disabilities.
“Women with disabilities face disadvantages in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and society as a whole,” said STEP Programs Director Abia Akram. “STEP, with the support of the American Embassy in Pakistan, initiated Supporting Women with Disabilities project to refine the approach of stakeholders and to help fully realize these women’s rights.”
As this program comes to a close, the American Embassy and Mobility International are beginning collaboration on a new program to empower Pakistanis with disabilities and their allies. For more information about the American Embassy’s work in Pakistan, please visit https://pk.usembassy.gov/.
Contact: U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (051-208-2911, 051-208-1136)
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