Sahar Khodayari set herself alight after being charged for trying to enter a football stadium. Twitter
• Will Egypt Ever Have Female Pastors?
• Gallup: Nearly 50% of Afghan Women Want to Leave Their Country
• ‘Rosie’: The Egyptian Students Making Cheap, Eco-Friendly Sanitary Pads for Rural Women
• Two French Women Who Pledged Allegiance to the ISIS on Trial for Attempted Attack Near Notre Dame
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mandates Burqa in All Govt Institutions, Faces Fierce Criticism
• US-Pakistan Women’s Council launches mentoring campaign
• ‘Pakistan Million Women Mentors’ Programme Launched
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Remember ‘Blue Girl’: FIFFA Should Bar Iran from International Competition Until Women There Are Allowed Into Stadiums
By Roya Hakakian
September 25, 2019
Roya Hakakian is the author of the memoir “Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran” and “Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.”
Last spring, a young woman named Sahar Khodayari went to see her favourite Iranian soccer team, Esteghlal, play at Azadi Stadium in Tehran. “Azadi” means “freedom” in Persian, but Khodayari wasn’t free to enter the stadium that day because Iranian women are barred from attending soccer matches. So she dressed as a man, wearing Esteghlal’s blue team color. Security guards stopped her, and she confessed that she was a woman. Khodayari was arrested and held in jail for three days, then released pending a court hearing.
As was later widely reported, earlier this month Khodayari appeared for her court date and learned that the case had been postponed but apparently also found out that she might face a jail term of anywhere from six months to two years. Fearing that prospect, she doused herself with gasoline outside the courthouse and set herself on fire. Khodayari, who was 29, died days later in a hospital.
In an interview, a family member said the prospect of having to spend time in Gharchak Prison, a women’s penitentiary in the city of Varamin, had devastated Khodayari. Over the summer, 200 inmates there protested its inhumane living conditions in an open letter to the government. Yet, soon, another story line about Khodayari emerged: Her father, during an interview with official Iranian media, blamed his daughter’s self-immolation on “nervous troubles.” Khodayari was cast by the regime-friendly Iranian media as mentally unstable.
Regardless of the characterization’s accuracy, it was a distraction from the outrageousness of the ban on women at soccer matches. The Islamic republic’s systematic oppression of women — under the guise of protecting their chastity and piety — extends far beyond soccer, including the forced wearing of the Hijab and matters of marriage, divorce and child custody. Women protesting for their rights are frequently imprisoned, but these episodes attract relatively little attention. Khodayari’s tragic death caused an uproar both in Iran and around the world.
Iranian soccer fans have sung in support of the “Blue Girl,” as Khodayari came to be known. Some posted on Twitter with the hashtags #LetIranianWomenIn and #BlueGirl. When Esteghlal played recently, the players’ jerseys were printed with the words “Blue Girl,” despite the government’s warnings to avoid any mention of her.
Khodayari’s arrest and death resonated far beyond Iran with women who live under oppression. Afghan women at a stadium in Kabul held signs honoring her memory. In Turkey and in Saudi Arabia, women have sent messages to their Iranian sisters declaring solidarity in the fight for women’s rights.
As for their peers in the United States, they have been mostly silent, alas. Decades ago, American feminists saw themselves in a global sisterhood fighting the same battle for women everywhere. But the rise of theocratic regimes, peddling misogynist practices as indigenous traditions, has undermined the old camaraderies; now, respect for cultural sovereignty takes precedence.
The rise of nativist bigotry against U.S. Muslims has further discouraged feminists in the United States from speaking against violations of Muslim women’s rights in the Middle East. American feminists, and progressives in the United States generally, have yet to reckon with the demands of these complex times. Condemning hateful acts against Muslims in the United States doesn’t prevent anyone from working to eradicate gender apartheid under Islamic regimes.
Khodayari’s tragic protest was not the first effort to draw attention to Iran’s prohibition of women at soccer games. For years, female activists have protested outside stadiums, and some have glued on fake beards and mustaches, entering stadiums as men. In March, according to the BBC, 35 women were detained by police as they tried to attend a match.
The government periodically hints at changing the policy when it knows the outside world will be watching. Last fall, hundreds of women were allowed to sit in a designated “family” section during an Asian Champions League game in Tehran attended by Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, which is soccer’s world governing body. But after attention turns elsewhere, the ban returns.
Infantino said Sunday that Iranian officials had told him women would be allowed to attend a World Cup qualifying game on Oct. 10 in Tehran. But as far as dropping the ban permanently, a FIFA statement said only that the idea was being “discussed.” Now would be a good time for anyone who cares about women’s rights — and for every soccer mom, every soccer fan — to put pressure on FIFA: If Iran doesn’t end the ban totally, not just for one high-profile game — then FIFA should bar Iran from international competition until the policy is officially abandoned.
During the 1950s, Iran’s most prominent female poet, Forough Farrokhzad, wrote a line that became the mantra of the opposition against the monarchy of the time: “Remember flight! The bird is mortal.” Interpreted as a call to sacrifice on behalf of freedom, the passage still inspires today as a new generation dreams of an Iran that doesn’t just build stadiums named for freedom, but grants it to all citizens.
Will Egypt Ever Have Female Pastors?
September 24, 2019
Egypt’s various religious dominions have so far rejected the ordination of women. But Cairo-born Gihan Farag — who currently lives in the United States — was ordained by the United Church of Christ last May in Fort Worth, Texas. Her visit to Cairo this summer rekindled the debate on whether women are getting any closer to wearing the cloak in Egypt.
Farag’s visit to Egypt to see friends and family did not go unnoticed by the media. Several Egyptian newspapers called upon her to ask about her views on women’s ordination and whether she believes it will one day be possible in Egypt. Her friends, who requested anonymity, told Al-Monitor that Gihan may be back in Egypt in 2026 — which is the date the Egyptian Evangelical Church is expected to take up the issue of whether women can become pastors in its churches.
Farag strongly defended the right of women to be pastors and said she did not recognize any differences between women and men in the eyes of God. “Because I believe in the Bible, I believe in the ordination of women. This is not a defense of liberal theology or any other, but a defense of the Bible that advocates equality between men and women,” she told al-Bawabah News July 6. “Priesthood is a call from God to men and women alike and not a privilege for men,” Farag said to news site Al-Manassa July 18.
Some representatives of Christian communities in Egypt disagree with her words. “The Bible Baptist Denomination rejects all liberal teachings that contradict the word of God, including the ordination of women. The Evangelical Church in Egypt … clearly and explicitly rejects the ordination of Farag by a lesbian pastor,” Botros Faltaos, president of the Bible Baptist Denomination based in Alexandria, wrote in a Facebook post July 16. Faltaos claims that Lee Ann Bryce, pastor of the United Church who ordained Farag, is a lesbian. The United Church of Christ allows gay and bisexual people to become pastors.
Al-Monitor reached out to Farag and Bryce by email but received no response. A close friend of Farag's in Egypt, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al-Monitor that Farag was born into a Coptic family but later joined the Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo.
There, she made family films and programs that were screened at the church or on Christian television channels. Her main focus was on programs concerned with women’s affairs, their roles in Christian history and how to achieve equality between men and women.
“She always felt [she] could play a bigger role. But becoming a pastor was very far-fetched since we are taught in Egypt at a very young age that the ordination of women is not allowed. Egyptian men of religion argue that Jesus did not choose any women among his 12 disciples, although there is no text in the Bible that forbids the ordination of women or restricts it only for men,” said Farag's close friend.
The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt avoids addressing the reasons for its refusal to ordain women as pastors, merely describing the matter as “liberal heresy.”
“The position of the church is clear on this matter, and we can refer to the statements of Pope Tawadros II,” Rev. Paul Halim, spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church, told Al-Monitor.
In a televised interview in 2016, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria said that women cannot be pastors in the Coptic Orthodox Church. “We already expressed our objection to what is happening in other Christian churches. But it eventually all boils down to the choice of every church,” he said. “Women in the Coptic Church in Egypt play a major role. The church choir is made up of young women mainly. Every church has an administration council, which has to have one woman on board at least. The Orthodox colleges and universities in Egypt include female professors, not to mention the headmistresses of monasteries,” Tawadros II said.
The role bestowed upon women by Tawadros II falls short of Farag’s ambitions, according to her friend. The idea to study theology came upon Farag during her visit to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
“Farag ended up enrolling in the university and completed her theological study in 2013. She then tried to be ordained in Egypt because some of the Evangelical churches in Egypt were then trying to persuade the synod of Nile — which is the highest synod of Evangelical churches in Egypt — to accept the ordination of a woman, but he kept postponing the issue. Farag decided to go back to the United States and finally was ordained in 2019,” the source explained.
Ikram Lamei, head of the Information and Publishing Council of the Upper Nile Synod of the Egyptian Evangelical Churches, told Al-Monitor the Evangelical churches in Egypt are united on the right of women to take the cloak just as men do. But he added that the church has to take into account the conservative views of Egyptian society, which prompted the synod to delay approval of the ordination of a woman.
“Farag spends her time teaching at Texas Christian University and preparing for her work and sermons at the United Church of Christ. I believe she is a role model for thousands of young Egyptian women who dream of taking the same path to become closer to God, which can only be through a bitter struggle, as Farag has done,” Farag’s friend said, implying that her ordination made it easier for others to follow her path.
Gallup: Nearly 50% of Afghan Women Want to Leave Their Country
By Michael W. Chapman
September 24, 2019
(CNSNews.com) -- A new poll shows that nearly 50% of the women in Afghanistan want to leave, migrate to another country. In addition, 41% of the entire Afghan population wants to leave.
In the survey, Gallup asked, "Ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move PERMANENTLY to another country, or would you prefer to continue living in this country?"
Forty-seven percent of the women said they would like to permanently move to another country; 35% of the men said the same.
"Since 2016, the rise in the percentage of all Afghans who would like to migrate has been accounted for entirely by results among women, nearly half (47%) of whom in 2018 said they would like to leave," reported Gallup.
"Nearly two decades into a war touted as 'a fight for the rights and dignity of women,' Gallup surveys in 2018 showed Afghan women were the least satisfied women in the world with the freedom to choose what they do with their lives; 33% said they were satisfied," said the survey firm. "With 80% of women out of the workforce and 91% with a primary education or less, these choices remain rather limited."
"Amid rising fears that they could lose what freedoms they do have as the Taliban continues to take more control over their country, the percentage of Afghan women who say they would like to move has nearly tripled since 2016, and for the first time, significantly more women (47%) than men (35%) want to leave," reported Gallup.
When the polling firm asked Afghans overall if they would like to permanently move to another country, 41% said yes. This is a record high, according to Gallup.
"Afghans who say they would like to move to another country are most likely to name Germany (19%) and Turkey (19%), the two countries where Afghan refugees make up the second-largest refugee populations after Syrians, as their preferred destination," said Gallup.
"The U.S., which is often the No. 1 desired destination for most of the world's potential migrants, is the next-most mentioned after the first two, with 12% saying they would like to move there."
U.S. military forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since Oct. 7, 2001, for nearly 18 years.
‘Rosie’: The Egyptian Students Making Cheap, Eco-Friendly Sanitary Pads for Rural Women
SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
Commonly regarded as a social taboo, menstruation is a monthly challenge for billions of girls and women worldwide. In many parts of the world, particularly in rural areas, access to feminine hygiene items such as pads, tampons, or menstrual cups is limited due to product unavailability and the social stigma associated with the subject. Many women and girls experience shame and embarrassment that dissuades them from discussing the issue, often leading them to rely on unsanitary methods, such as using strips of cloth or other unhygienic material to absorb menstrual flow.
It is estimated that more than half of women and girls in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) use homemade materials to manage their periods, which can often lead to reproductive health problems, including fatal toxic shock syndrome and infertility. It can also prevent women and girls from going to school or work due to the pain and discomfort they feel.
In Egypt, the Enactus team from Cairo University is aiming to change that with their social enterprise ‘Rosie‘. Cairo University’s ‘Rosie’ was named 2019’s Enactus World Cup Champion and awarded the Ford Better World Award of $50,000 against runners-up from Canada, Germany, and the United States of America.
Though Enactus Cairo University had qualified for the World Cup twice in the past, this is the team’s first time to snatch the competition’s highest honor.
“Luckily, our team is very well established in the university, and we have many good networks that help us grow. Any individual who graduates remains in the team for guidance, including graduates all the way from 2007 and 2008,” Karil El Gezairy, president of Cairo University’s Enactus chapter, told Egyptian Streets.
Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), is a global non-profit, non-governmental student organization headquartered in the United States, with chapters in every major university around the world. Dedicated to creating sustainable business models around the world, Enactus empowers students to develop and implement innovative social enterprises that would positively impact disenfranchised communities in their respective countries. It is one of the largest student organizations worldwide, with more than 72,000 student members from 37 countries, across 1,730 university campuses.
‘Rosie’ is a social enterprise that markets and sells organic pads that are eco-friendly and affordable. The project not only makes the product available and accessible to women in rural areas, it also helps them make a living by including them in the production and manufacturing process.
“We believed that we can make a product for women by women,” El Gezairy said. “We visited several villages in Egypt and discovered that there was a major problem, which is that a lot of women were not using sanitary products, and so we wanted to provide them with an alternative: [a product] they are able to afford and use, and [one that] is also functional.”
The journey towards developing the product wasn’t easy. El Gezairy notes that the team rented a house before the World Cup and worked all night in order to create an effective and sustainable business.
“It took a lot of effort and hard work. We are a group of 130 people, and throughout the year, many in the team worked for around 100 hours a week, sleeping for just around two to three hours [a day], then continuing to work in a never-ending cycle,” he says.
In developing the product, El Gezairy notes that the team decided that it should be completely organic and biodegradable, using banana fibers, a material two times more absorbent than other synthetic alternatives, in addition to Egyptian cotton as the main components for the pads’ bases.
On top of that, Rosie does not just aim to protect women’s health and hygiene, but also help them to earn an income and become part of the enterprise in manufacturing the product – transforming their standard of living as a whole. “We also wanted the women to support their families and earn a living, so we cooperated with a lot of NGOs and charity organizations in order to teach these women the manufacturing process and also provide them with the product,” he adds. “We kept doing that until we applied [this model] to 12 villages overall, even reaching Uganda.”
The team’s main difficulty, however, was broaching the social taboo in order to address such a sensitive topic, as many of the women and girls in those areas lacked menstrual hygiene awareness. “We decided to carry out many sessions and workshops in these villages to make them more aware of the importance of menstrual hygiene, and break this taboo that prevents many women from accessing these products,” Gezairy explains.
Currently, their main goal is to include more machinery in the future to increase productivity, and hopefully expand to more areas in Egypt and help more women. “At the beginning [of any venture], the most important [thing] to keep in mind is that there is steady growth, and so at the moment, we are just hoping that this growth continues,” he says.
Made by women for women, ‘Rosie’ is a brilliant step in improving the health and lives of many and achieving multiple sustainable development goals, such as physical health and psycho-social well-being for multitudes of women. It is a business model that promotes quality education and sexual awareness for girls, female empowerment and gender equality, water preservation, as well as responsible consumption and production for the environment.
Two French Women Who Pledged Allegiance to the ISIS on Trial for Attempted Attack Near Notre Dame
23 September, 2019
Two French women who pledged allegiance to the ISIS group went on trial Monday for trying to blow up a car near Notre Dame Cathedral in 2016, in a case that authorities hope sheds light on the wave of extremism that has hit France, reported The Associated Press.
The trial is also highlighting the role of women in recruiting and violence by ISIS extremists.
The Notre Dame terrorist plot fell apart after the gas canisters doused with fuel failed to explode, and no one was hurt.
But the women had been recruited by one of France's most notorious extremists, and prosecutors say the attempted explosion — in September 2016, long before the fire that ravaged the medieval cathedral this year — could have killed dozens of people in one of the French capital's most-beloved, tourist-friendly neighborhoods.
The two main suspects, who face life in prison if convicted, were subdued as the trial opened in a special Paris terrorism court. Six other people are also on trial for related charges.
Lawyer Thibault de Montbrial, representing French police and a terrorism victims association, described Monday's action in court as the first significant trial related to the 2015-2016 attacks in France, which deeply shook the country and hardened its security posture.
He said the trial also "puts in the forefront the role, often unknown, underestimated and sometimes even negated by some, of women in radicalization, fanaticism, and their ability to execute a terrorist act."
Ines Madani, now 22, is considered the key player. She was just a teenager when she and Ornella Gilligmann joined a channel on the social network Telegram run by French extremist Rachid Kassim, according to court documents.
Kassim was central to French recruiting efforts for ISIS, prosecutors say, and was believed linked to a gruesome attack on a French priest inside his Normandy church and the killing of a French police couple at home in front of their child.
Kassim moved to Syria in 2015, and during the summer of 2016 he multiplied his threats against France on social networks and released a guide detailing how followers should commit attacks. Among his suggested methods were group stabbings or "filling a vehicle with gas cylinders and spraying them with fuel."
Madani and Gilligmann tried to do just that, after sending Kassim videos pledging allegiance to ISIS, court documents say.
On September 4, 2016, they parked a Peugeot carrying six gas canisters near Notre Dame, doused them with diesel fuel and tried to set them alight. But they failed, and then fled.
Police quickly found their trail. The car belonged to Madani's father, and the two women's fingerprints and DNA were found on the gas canisters.
Gilligmann, who was already known to intelligence services for trying to reach Syria in 2014, was arrested two days later in southern France.
Madani then tried to plot a new attack with help from Kassim and other women extremists. On September 8, three of them took kitchen knives and attempted a rampage as police closed in.
Madani "acknowledges responsibility" for plotting the Notre Dame attack and is expecting a conviction, her lawyer Laurent Pasquet Marinacce told The AP. The lawyer said Madani was manipulated by Kassim and is "no longer radicalized at all. She has done a lot of self-examination."
Kassim is being tried in absentia. An international arrest warrant was issued for him, but he was believed killed by a drone strike in 2017 around the Iraqi city of Mosul. US authorities confirmed his death, but no proof of death was officially reported to the French courts.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mandates Burqa in All Govt Institutions, Faces Fierce Criticism
Sep 25, 2019
Authorities in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Haripur, another city in the conservative province, last week issued a directive to all government educational institutions mandating female students to wear an abaya, a body-shrouding garment that covers a woman’s body from head to toe.
Ziaullah Bangash, the education adviser for the region’s chief minister, said the decision was made to ensure the safety of female students following visits to several regional schools.
The notice triggered an outcry on social media, where the move was harshly criticised as a “cheap publicity feat,” oppressive and a reminder of the days when parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were ruled by the Pakistani Taliban.
Authorities withdrew the order following the backlash. But many conservative Pakistanis had favoured the directive and criticised its withdrawal.
Women’s protection or political gains?
Senator Sherry Rehman described as “bizarre” the government’s wish to police women’s bodies and clothing at a state level. “This is certainly not a promise that any progressive party makes,” she said.
Rehman compared the current situation with the dictatorship of General Zia ul Haq in the 1980s, a time when Pakistan witnessed sweeping Islamization of its society and state institutions.
“It reminds us of the times of the Zia regime, when veiling in public offices, schools and television was made legal and the norm, which we see has been reversed,” she told DW. “Pakistani society is fairly moderate. So the freedom to make such a choice must be available.”
Many leaders of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) party have also publicly condemned the government’s directive.
Ali Khan Tareen, a young PTI politician, mocked the move in a tweet, asking girls to have “pepper spray instead of chadors.”
Pakistan’s federal minister for science and technology, Fawad Chaudry, suggested that women were free to choose their attire and a dress code should not be enforced by the government.
The social division
Religious conservatives, however, called the withdrawal of the notification a “cowardly move.” Maimoona Malik, a Pakistani-origin Islamic scholar based in Saudi Arabia and daughter of the late Islamic cleric Ghulam Murtaza, called the withdrawal a “wrong move.”
She told DW that the decision would have enabled parents from conservative backgrounds to send their daughters to higher education with a feeling of security.
“Islam demands Muslim women to cover their bodies, so they could be protected from evil intentions of men. The area is conservative and girls are already covering up their bodies according to the teachings of Islam, so there was no reason to issue such a notification.”
Civil rights activist Jibran Nasir argued that forcing women to dress in a certain way, whether on religious or social grounds, removes the women’s right of choice.
“It is a part of the larger patriarchal view of society that women should not decide for themselves,” Nasir said. “They should seek consent of men every step of the way. It is a systematic way of shattering their confidence, limiting their thinking, making them believe they don’t have any free will, that the more obedient they are to men the better they are as women,” Nasir explained. The activist also pointed out that the mindset results in many women “internalising patriarchal values so much that they eventually become vocal advocates for patriarchy telling other women to learn to obey orders.”
In Pakistani society, women face serious challenges and hardships, including acid attacks, honour killings and domestic violence. The female literacy rate is less than 50%, whereas male literacy rate is 69%, according to the 2017-18 Pakistan Economic Survey.
Social Media outcry
On social media, people expressed differing opinions, with some supporting the proposal, while others lambasting it.
Manzoor Ali, a social media user, condemned the move in his tweet, saying that the government is “repressing victims.”
Pakistani pop singer Shehzad Roy called on the government to “change conditions instead of changing girls.”
But some supporters of the veil requested the government to impose it all over the country.
US-Pakistan Women’s Council launches mentoring campaign
SEP 25TH, 2019
"Accelerating women's economic empowerment is good for business and good for Pakistan," this is the message behind the launch of a new mentoring campaign by the US-Pakistan Women's Council on Tuesday. Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection was the honoured guest.
Dr Nishtar elaborated on the myriad ways in which Ehsaas, Pakistan's new equality centered initiative is mainstreaming the role of women in the economic sphere, through financial inclusion amongst other measures, creating livelihoods and jobs. The programme is called the Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative and it aims to connect a million women and girls in Pakistan with mentors over the next three years.
"Women's empowerment is absolutely critical to ending poverty and is a key principle of the Ehsaas. When women join the work force it benefits everyone in the country, and I am glad to support the US-Pakistan Women's Council and the Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative," said Dr Nishtar following the event.
"By connecting young women and girls from Pakistan with leaders in industry we can give them many more opportunities to thrive as the businesswomen and leaders of tomorrow."
Attending the event were dozens of talented Pakistani exchange students, who took part in a speed-mentoring event to launch the mentoring initiative. "The US-Pakistan Women's Council, which I am thrilled to co-chair with Michael Young, President of Texas A&M University, is a unique public-private partnership that catalyzes initiatives, policies and dialogue, to foster women's employment, entrepreneurship and access to educational opportunity in Pakistan," said Alice G. Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South Asia and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State in a speech to participants.-PR
‘Pakistan Million Women Mentors’ Programme Launched
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019
The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) has launched a programme abroad called ‘Pakistan Million Women Mentors’ for women empowerment.
“The ‘Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative’ by the US-Pakistan Women’s Council aims at connecting a million women and girls in Pakistan with mentors over the next three years,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister on PASSD Dr Sania Nishtar said Tuesday. “Women’s empowerment is absolutely critical to ending poverty and is a key principle of the Ehsaas. When women join the workforce, it benefits everyone in the country, and I am glad to support the US-Pakistan Women’s Council and the Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative,” she said. “By connecting young women and girls from Pakistan with leaders in industry, we can give them many more opportunities to thrive as the businesswomen and leaders of tomorrow,” she added.
Attending the event were dozens of talented Pakistani exchange students, who took part in a speed-mentoring event to launch the initiative. “The US-Pakistan Women’s Council, which I am thrilled to co-chair with Michael Young, President of Texas A&M University, is a unique public-private partnership that catalyzes initiatives, policies and dialogue, to foster women’s employment, entrepreneurship and access to educational opportunity in Pakistan,” said Alice G Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South Asia and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State, in her speech to the participants.
A number of global companies have already agreed to sign up to the mentoring scheme, including S&P Global, Citi, the Resource Group, Zafa Pharmaceuticals, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pepsico, which together have pledged to mentor more than 24,000 women and girls and are the first in Pakistan to join the movement.
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