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January 27, 2011

Danish envoy climbs rock wall with Pak female mountaineer

National

January 27, 2011

Islamabad
The Danish ambassador to Pakistan, Uffe Wolffhechel made a landmark initiative to promote the importance of gender equality by climbing a rock wall with one of Pakistan’s most courageous female mountaineers, Samina Baig.
Wolffhechel took upon this innovative method to send a message on behalf of the Government of Denmark to the people and especially the youth of Pakistan. Samina was also supported by the Danish Embassy on her latest winter expedition.
The ambassador shared that “The Danish government is supporting a new development program for Pakistan with a strong emphasis on support for education. The future of Pakistan lies with educating the youth to create new opportunities.” He said that their support to Samina’s courageous winter expedition was driven by their aspiration to promote a youth role model of Pakistan and of gender equality. “Samina is an example of a positive and dynamic part of Pakistan seldom covered by the international media that we are proud to promote. Her climbing also draws to the attention the beauty of the pristine mountains of Pakistan,” he said.
The event was held at the Rawal Lake in the presence of representatives from the Pakistan Youth Outreach, the Danish Embassy and general public who came to see the unusual event.
The event was a follow up to Samina’s recent return from her winter climbing expedition in the Karakorum, which had been financially supported by the Government of Denmark. Samina is the first ever Pakistani female to have embarked on a high altitude winter climbing expedition. Earlier in 2010 she climbed an unclimbed peak of 6400 meters. This was Samina’s first expedition and ascent. The mountain she climbed, Chashksin Sar has now been renamed Samina Peak in her honour.
Speaking on this occasion, Samina said that “It is my intention to motivate more women to participate as this will give a message of confidence to females everywhere that if a young woman can climb a

mountain, she can do anything.” Samina is also a part of the Pakistan Youth Outreach, a local organisation established by her brother Mirza. They are both extremely motivated to reach out to the youth in schools, colleges and universities and educate them about the mountain adventures in Pakistan.
The event was also held in line to further promote the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and youth, which include gender equality and promoting education.