Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to United Nations organizes a Virtual Event on “Pakistani Women in Leadership” on the occasion of International Women’s Day at UN Head Quarters, New York.
The Permanent Representative, Ambassador Munir Akram moderated the event. The Mission highlights the achievements of Pakistani women at the United Nations. Ambassador Munir Akram, said that these women were symbols of courage, selfless commitment, and professional excellence, which were the hallmark of Pakistani women.
Ms. Melissa Fleming heading the UN Department of Global Communication was the chief guest. Major General Maureen O’Brien, Deputy Military Advisor in the Office of Military Affairs, Department of Peace Operations, president of, UN Correspondents Association Ms. Valeria Robecco, president and convener of air quality Asia Ms. Shazia Rafi, UN Police Commissioner Ms. Helena Iqbal Saeed, Ms. Shahzadi Gulfam first Pakistani UN Women Peacekeeper awardee and others attended the event.
The Permanent Representative, Ambassador Munir Akram highlighted the achievements of Pakistani women in all walk of life and said that women have held prominent positions, including as Prime Minister, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Speaker of National Assembly, judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chief Justice of High Court, and important portfolios in the Cabinet, as well as served as federal and provincial secretaries, district commissioners and district police officers, generals, fighter pilots, and UN Peacekeepers. Presently, 22.64% of Pakistan’s diplomats were women, including several were serving Ambassadors, Munir Akram add.
He underlined that Pakistani dedicated and committed women had always kept Pakistan’s flag high at the multilateral fora. Pakistani women were working on different positions at the UN Headquarters and in field missions with distinction. Pakistani Women Peacekeepers were providing assistance in conflict and post-conflict situations, and inspiring women around the globe.
Pakistan became the first country to achieve the goal of deployment of 15% female staff officers as nearly 450 women have served in UN missions. It also achieved 50 percent female participation across our community engagement platoons in UN Peacekeeping Missions, says Munir Akram.
Ambassador further said, in 2021 Ms. Helena Iqbal from Pakistan Police has been appointed as police commissioner for the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). Earlier, Ms. Shahzadi Gulfam of Pakistan Police received the first-ever International Female Police Peacekeeper Award in 2011.
Ms. Melissa Fleming started her career as a journalist and after several challenging assignments reached the UN to head of Department of Global Communication. She praised the achievements and role of Pakistani women at the UN and said that it was important to celebrate women and their role every day through advocating for their rights. She emphasized that the pandemic, climate change, and conflict have heightened the vulnerabilities facing the women in the world and Ukraine conflict is an example for the world.
Major General Maureen O’Brien commended the exemplary role and services of Pakistan peacekeepers women and called them role models and pioneers. She advised the women to have goals and take concerted action with a commitment to achieve those goals.
“The Pakistan serving women in UN peace operations are achieving goals. They indeed confirm that gender equality is not a dream but a goal for a world based on fundamental human rights”.
She thanked the women of Pakistan and all the troop-contributing countries further serving and courage in serving in the.
“We have great examples of women from all over the world including Pakistan, who have surpassed these challenges and are at the forefront of decision making and leadership in the world. These women are role models for generations to come. They are trailblazers for gender equality, breaking stereotypes” she added.
President of, UN Correspondents Association, Ms. Valeria Robecco, stated that women all around the world faced discrimination and the world needed another 130 years to reach gender equality at the current rate of progress. She underlined that gender equality was necessary for achieving social and economic progress which was inclusive and sustainable. She commended Pakistani women who were serving at the United Nations in challenging roles.
President and convener of air quality Asia and first female secretary-general of a global inter-parliamentary organization, Ms. Shazia Rafi, highlighted, there were 81 countries that did not have women head of state or government ever and United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union also never had a women secretary-general. She also urged male supervisors to be feminists both at home and at work and share power and responsibility with women.
UN Police Commissioner, Ms. Helena Iqbal Saeed Peacekeeper Awardee, the First-ever Pakistani woman discuss the role of women in the development of countries and in building inclusive societies.
She stressed that there was a dire need of women in the police to combat gender-based crimes. She also emphasized the need for an increased number of women peacekeepers in UN Peacekeeping Missions.
The Permanent Representative of Guyana also commended the resilience of Pakistani women and their leadership role at the United Nations and called Pakistani women “phenomenal.” The Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran also paid tribute to exceptionally talented and courageous Pakistani women.
The Permanent Representative underlined that the Government is committed to promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality in Pakistan in line with Sustainable Development Goal 5. He also underscored the role of men in providing support and encouraging environment to women for personal growth and development and advocating for their rights.
At last, documentary was also shown to the audience on Pakistani Women Peacekeepers.