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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S.-Pakistan Women's Council 2014

Fact Sheet
Washington, DC
August 19, 2014


The State Department launched the US-Pakistan Women’s Council in 2012 to promote women’s economic participation in Pakistan. Chaired by U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell and President of American University Neil Kerwin, the Council is a public-private partnership that works to advance three critical pillars to growing women’s economic participation: women’s entrepreneurship, employment, and education. Through the support of leading figures in government, the private sector, and civil society in the U.S. and Pakistan, the Council has accomplished the following initiatives:


  • In June 2014, Ambassador Richard Olson announced the WECREATE center in Islamabad, which will provide access to resources and capacity building for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The Center, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, is coordinated by the Bureau of Economic Affairs and the U.S. Embassy and implemented by StartUp Cup in partnership with TiE Islamabad and Hashoo Foundation.
  • In 2013, the Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy and other partners, convened female entrepreneurs and leaders in the private sector to advance dialogue on the challenges and opportunities to growing women’s entrepreneurship during Global Entrepreneurship Week and at a symposium in Islamabad focused on the fashion and textile sector in July.


  • Through a partnership with the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA), the Council is working to provide career planning and mentoring to female medical students in Pakistan to help more women pursue their dream of practicing medicine after graduation.
  • The U.S. Embassy co-hosted a Women in the Workplace event in June 2014 in Islamabad to highlight the importance of women competing in the economy and to emphasize the private sector’s role in supporting women-friendly policies in the workforce.
  • The Council partnered with Engro in July 2013 to host a roundtable in Karachi to discuss best practices for recruiting female interns and employees. The event was attended by Pepsi, Intel, Citibank, L’Oreal, Standard Charter Bank, and other business community members.


  • The Council launched the U.S. Summer Sisters Exchange program in 2013 for female high school students to inspire and equip them with the skills needed to achieve their professional goals; six students studied in the U.S. In 2014, scholarships for seven students were provided by Harvard, Smith, American University, George Washington University, Babson College, and the Eleanor Roosevelt leadership Center at Vassar College.

Public Awareness

  • The Council promotes the achievements of women in Pakistan through social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In. Our “Inspiring Women Campaign,” held every year on International Women’s Day, was followed by over 160,000 people. Our efforts promote good will and foster U.S.-Pakistan understanding regarding women in the economy.
  • To illustrate the importance of STEM careers for women, the Council worked with President Obama’s Science Envoy to highlight the achievements of Pakistani female scientists at a technology conference in Islamabad in June 2014. The Council also profiled outstanding women in technology on its Facebook page.

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Become a Member. The Council is recruiting members who are working to promote economic opportunities for women in Pakistan.
  • Promote Employment. Mentor a female colleague or employee. Offer an internship. Provide career counseling. Partner with women-owned businesses.
  • Promote Higher Education. Provide a scholarship for the U.S. Summer Sister Program.

For more information, in the U.S. contact: Executive Director Melanie Bixby( or Samssa Ali ( In Pakistan, contact Kimberlee LeBlanc (

Or visit our Facebook page ( and web site (

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