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Statement by Mr. Salman Sufi (Director General-Strategic Reforms Unit):

“It is Chief Minister Punjab’s policy to promote hardworking citizens who have worked on gender based violence with full conviction and without holding any ulterior motivation. Moreover, selection of these two fine women is a testament to this promise.”

The Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit Director GeneralMr. Salman Sufi conducted a joint press conference with Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy in reference to the upcoming launch of the Violence Against Women Centre in Multan, today. Mr. Salman Sufi briefed the media regarding the on-going completion of the VAWC at Multan and announced the selection of two ambassadors for the Violence Against Women Centres. Renowned Oscar winning film-maker Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and grass-roots Violence Against Women worker, Ms. Rubina Shaheen were announced as the first two ambassadors for this revolutionary initiative aimed at eradication on VAW in Punjab in today’s press conference.

Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is the first Pakistani to have won two Academy Awards, six Emmy Awards and to have directed Pakistan’s first animated film, 3 Bahadur. Through her films, she has constantly advocated for women’s rights. Similarly, Ms. Rubina Shaheen has worked as part of Dastak Foundation since the past 23 years and has constantly been on the frontline as a Women Protection Officer. She has worked at the grass-roots level assisting, counselling, conducting mediation sessions and allowing women to access Dastak Shelter Homes. The Violence Against Women Centres are the implementation arm of the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill 2016, drafted and initiated by the Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit/Special Monitoring Unit. The VAWC presents a unified platform for all justice delivery measures required by victims of violence to put an end to all forms of Violence Against Women in the province.

Mr. Jamshed Kazi, Country Representative UN Women Pakistan also remarked that he was very pleased on the appointment of Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Ms. Rubina Shaheen as the Goodwill Ambassadors of VAWC.

“With their strong commitment to the cause and immense contributions towards ending VAW in Pakistan, Ms. Chinoy and Ms. Shaheen will play an important role in creating awareness on VAW and galvanizing support for gender equality. As a key partner of Government of the Punjab, UN Women is fully supportive of this initiative and we look forward to seeing these exemplary women inspire many new people in this new role.”

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