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.