The US Consulate General of Karachi observed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, kicking off 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Consul General Grace Shelton took the occasion to reaffirm the U.S. government’s commitment to defending the rights of women and girls to live free from violence.
On November 28, Consul General Shelton delivered remarks as the Chief Guest at an event organized by the Aurat Foundation, called “Orange the World, Let’s Go Together, No More Violence.” She joined representatives from the Sindh provincial government, civil society organizations, and the arts – all committed to eradicating gender-based violence.
Consul General Shelton said, “The United States is proud of its close partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations in Sindh to support survivors of gender-based violence.” The United States has invested over forty million dollars to help survivors get better access to health, security, and legal services in Sindh.
The Consul General also noted the United States recently signed an agreement with UN Women for a three-year, $3.5 million project to help law enforcement prevent and respond to violence against women in Sindh and Balochistan. It has also supported shelters and halfway houses with training and materials. These safe places empower women to report crimes and get the assistance and skills they need to re-enter society. In remarks on the Consulate’s Facebook page on November 25, Consul General Shelton introduced the Consulate’s social media campaign, “Karachi Champions Combatting Gender-Based Violence.” Every day from November 25 until December 10, the Consulate’s Facebook page spotlights a short interview with local heroes making a difference in Karachi’s hospitals, schools, government, and civil society organizations. As in years past, the United Nations selected the colour orange as a unifying theme, and the historic Consul General’s Residence and Sindh Assembly building are both lit up in orange to mark the event. Consul General Shelton said on Facebook, “Wiping out this stain on our societies requires each of us to speak up and take action. Whether it occurs at home or at work, downtown in the city or on the farm, gender-based violence should have no place in any society.”