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US allots $200 million for gender equity programs in Pakistan

The US government has allotted $200 million for gender equity and equality programs in Pakistan. US Congressman Rep. Dan Bishop shared the details of the omnibus bill passed in the USA for the fiscal year 2023 as he wrote a threat criticizing its various provisions. A member of the Republican party, Dan Bishop is known for authoring House Bill 2, also known as the Bathroom bill, which prohibited transgender people from using public restrooms other than those of their biological sex as mentioned on their birth certificates.

The Gender Equity Fund allotted for Pakistan is part of a mammoth 4155-page $1.7 trillion government spending bill introduced in the Senate, marking an increase from around $1.5 trillion in the last fiscal year. The bill is meant to fund the federal agencies of the US government through September 2023, which also includes funding for various social programs across the world. The bill has been accepted for discussion by the Senate in a 70-25, and will be passed by this weekend as Democratic and Republican negotiators have agreed to pass the bill to prevent a partial shutdown of federal agencies.

Talking about the bill, Rep. Dan Bishop wrote, “My team and I are reading through the omnibus bill today – all $1.7 trillion and 4,155 pages of it. Follow along for some of the most egregious provisions in the bill.” He posted several provisions of funding included in the bill.

In one of the tweets in the long thread, he mentioned, “Gender programs in Pakistan and a $200 million for a Gender Equity Fund.” Notably, of the funds appropriated under section III of the corresponding act, a gender equity and equality action fund of $200 million may be made available for the said cause. The funds are given to promote democracy and gender equality in Pakistan.

It is pertinent to note that the fund allotted for this purpose has registered a whopping increase in the last few years. In December 2020, the US congress cleared $10 million for promoting gender equality, along with $15 million for strengthening the democracy in Pakistan. Therefore, $200 million allotted for gender equity in Pakistan is a 20-fold increase from the 2020 allotment for the same cause.

What happens to the funds approved by the US to Pakistan for gender equity is not clear though. The situation of women in the Islamic country is not so good and girls from religious minorities are frequently raped and forcibly converted despite such huge funds. The civil rights of Muslim women are also subordinate to those of Muslim men. While gender equality seems impossible in Pakistan, democracy in the factory of Islamic terrorism is also questionable as the democratically elected representatives have become a tool in the hands of the Pakistani army.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 of the World Economic Forum which was published in July 2022, Pakistan ranked 145 among 46 countries ranked for the index. According to the report, Pakistan is the country where women have the smallest share of senior, managerial and legislative roles.

Moreover, despite giving such huge aid to Pakistan, everything the US gets in return is a protest for disrespecting Islam. One recent example was that of supporting LGBTQ. Islamists lambasted the United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, over a Tweet supporting LGBT rights. The tweet was made on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. It sought to organize international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights abuses and generate interest in LGBT rights work throughout the world. The tweet was condemned by Islamists in Pakistan stating that the embassy needs to obey the social norms of Pakistan.

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