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‘Human rights are women’s rights’

Karachi: The US Consulate-General in Karachi hosted a dialogue on the occasion on International Women’s Day with the theme, “Women: Freedom and Equality”. Leading Pakistani women panelists spoke on the occasion. The seminar was presided over by Bilqees Edhi, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Sheema Kermani, and Sadiqa Salahuddin. While the Acting Consul-General Kevin Murakami gave the opening remarks. Poetess Azra Abbas recited her verses and Sheema Kermani gave a dance performance.

He lauded the women panelists as true leaders, “fighting to create a better Pakistan for their mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers”. Through this struggle, he said, they were ultimately creating a better society for all, including their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands.

He said that he was overjoyed when Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscar for “Saving Face”, a documentary detailing the plight of Pakistani acid attack victims and the doctor who cares for them.

Young women and girls must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to pursue their dreams, he said. Indeed, investing in young women and girls meant economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for everyone tomorrow. Most importantly, women from all ethnicities, religions, and social-economic groups must live a life free from gender-based violence. Let us never forget that human rights are fundamentally women’s rights.

He said that he was looking forward to hearing and learning from the distinguished panelists, who had demonstrated such brave leadership, often at great personal risk.

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