Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the launch of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council today on the margins of the UN General Assembly, in the presence of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman. Recognizing the critical role economically empowered women play in strengthening stability, security, and prosperity, the Council’s core mission is to promote the economic advancement of women in Pakistan.
The U.S. Department of State and American University in Washington, D.C. are co-founding the Council, in coordination with the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN), a Pakistani-American non-profit dedicated to entrepreneurship in the United States and Pakistan. American University President Dr. Cornelius Kerwin and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer will serve as co-chairs.
The Council will connect U.S. and Pakistani corporations, foundations, universities, and individual donors with programs in Pakistan that support economic opportunities for women – such as training in financial management, product development, market access, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The Council will not be a grant-giving organization, but rather will broker connections for collaboration to support such economic opportunities for women.
The Council will be headed by an Executive Director and housed at American University. Senior Pakistani and U.S. officials, business leaders, and prominent members of the Pakistani-American Diaspora will advise on Council activities. Council members will include Pakistani and U.S. business and organizations committed to supporting the economic advancement of women.