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Pakistan Delegation Learns about Women’s Leadership at SCPS

Article by Jennifer Gettings      Photographs by Mark Beane

On February 9th the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) was honored to host a delegation of women from Pakistan visiting the United States as a part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The five women, political and social leaders in their country, are visiting the U.S. to learn more about: advocacy of women’s social issues, women’s studies programs, grassroots organizing, and the combating of domestic violence.

The delegation had requested to meet with Acting Dean Janet Deatherage and other SCPS staff in order to learn more about the school’s Women’s Leadership Conference as well as our Certificate in Strategic Leadership. One of the few initiatives of its kind in the city, the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, brings presenters, speakers and panelists in various areas of expertise and from across the country to Chicago. Past Conferences have included Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney, and Susan Sher, Former Assistant to First Lady Michelle Obama.

The school’s Certificate in Strategic Leadership is a unique opportunity for Chicago’s women leaders to sharpen their skills among their peers. The program encompasses important learning objectives that are significant for women professionals in mid to upper-level positions across the workforce spectrum. The curriculum’s design also will appeal to women who do not necessarily aspire to the senior level, but do have a desire to make important, strategic contributions to their company or association by practicing sound leadership principles.

Acting Dean Deatherage spent a great deal of time satisfying the delegates’ deep interest regarding both the conference and the certificate. The delegates will be in Chicago through February 10 after which they will be returning to Pakistan. The women were very encouraged by what they had learned during their visit to the U.S. thus far.  Among the many positive messages they intend to take back to their country, they all agreed that American women work very hard. And who are we to disagree.

Although the IVLP is administered by the U.S. State Department, the delegates’ Chicago visit was arranged by WorldChicago.

WorldChicago is one of 92 non-profits around the US that hosts [the International Visitor Leadership] program. Emerging leaders in government, politics, media, education, science, labor relations, the arts, and other fields visit Chicago to meet their professional counterparts, explore their interests, and experience American social and cultural life. (from WorldChicago website)Acting Dean Deatherage has done some work with WorldChicago in the past and says, “they are a terrific organization dedicated to advancing communication channels among citizens around the globe.”

The SCPS staff was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with these citizen delegates from Pakistan. The delegates: Shazia Ahmed, political worker; Rukhsana Bhatti, Central General Secretary, Women’s Wing, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf; Rehana Hadees, Member Provincial Assembly Punjab, Government of Pakistan; Fakhra Ilyas, volunteer coordinator; Yasmin Zia, Member of Provincial Assembly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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  • By Linda Roon on 2.16.2012 at 1:00 am

    What an amazing opportunity the SCPS must have had in hosting this event. The changes I have seen in the school since Janet Deatherage has taken the role of Acting Dean are wonderful!