U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jonathan Pratt joined Pakistani officials at the Islamabad Club to mark Human Rights Day and the final day of the global campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. National Police Bureau Director General Ihsan Ghani, Federal Investigative Agency Former Director General Mohib Asad, Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy Institutional Development Director Sameena Nazir, and Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Shahbaz Shareef Salman Sufi also attended the event and affirmed their support for policies that address violence against women.
“Ending gender-based violence requires elevating the status of women and freeing their potential to be agents of change in their communities,” Pratt said. “Accomplishing this goal requires a deep commitment to quality education and economic opportunities for all members of society.”
The U.S. Embassy Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and Lok Virsa co-sponsored the event. Lok Virsa Director Dr. Fouzia Saeed moderated a discussion with more than 150 leading women’s rights, government, and civil society leaders. Famed musicians Ali Sethi and Bushra Sadiq sang women’s empowerment songs at the event. The ceremony concluded with a candlelight vigil where participants pledged their continued commitment to fighting gender-based violence.
The Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University launched the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign in 1991. The annual campaign runs from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 to International Human Rights Day on December 10. The campaign’s timing symbolically links the prevention of violence against women with broader human rights issues.