Islamabad – More than 300 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs from across South Asia gathered in Islamabad for the opening ceremony of the three-day 2015 International Women’s Empowerment Conference.
The Conference, co-sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN), and the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council, features workshops and discussions about women’s social, political, and economic empowerment with prominent activists, artists, and community leaders from across Pakistan, South Asia, and the United States.
U.S. Ambassador Richard G. Olson quoted renowned American author Maya Angelou: ‘If you get, give. If you learn, teach’ to urge participants to share their leanings at the conference when they return to their homes and communities.
“During this conference, I encourage you to think about how the various sessions will enable you to achieve more in your respective fields and how, as a network, you can empower women across Pakistan, South Asia, and the world” Ambassador Olson said.
The first day of the conference concluded with four community service activities that brought the alumni together with various community partners, including Edhi Homes, Sweet Homes Pakistan, and the Special Talent Exchange Program.
The conference is one of many events sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad to commemorate both International Women’s Day on March 8 and Women’s History Month throughout the month of March.
The U.S. government invests approximately $40 million annually to send more than 1,300 Pakistanis to participate in various academic and professional exchange programs each year.
Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) is one of the largest U.S. alumni networks in the world with a mission to encourage people-to-people relationships between Pakistanis and Americans.
PUAN has 12 regional chapters nationwide in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Bahawalpur, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Gwadar, Islamabad, Jamshoro, Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Lahore, Multan, and Sukkur.