News

US Recognizes Women of Courage

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama present the 2012 International Women of Courage Award to Safak Pavey of Turkey, on the 101st Anniversary of International Women's Day, March 8, 2012, at the State Department in Washin
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama present the 2012 International Women of Courage Award to Safak Pavey of Turkey, on the 101st Anniversary of International Women's Day, March 8, 2012, at the State Department in Washin

The U.S. government on Thursday marked International Women's Day by recognizing 10 women who are fighting for human rights and equality.  

Presenting this year's International Women of Courage awards, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said championing women's equality is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.

"Improving the lives of women improves the lives of their families, strengthens their communities and does create more opportunities for economic growth and prosperity," she said. "We know that investing in women's employment, health and education levels leads to a greater economic growth across a broad spectrum.”

This year's recipients include Afghan provincial council member Maryam Durani, who is campaigning for economic equality, and Brazilian police major Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo, who has shut down drug gangs and is working to improve health care and education.

Burmese political activist Zin Mar Aung was awarded for her efforts to promote democracy and the rights of ethnic minorities.

Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima was recognized for working to expose sexual- and gender-based violence after she was gang raped while reporting on a story about arms smuggling.

Libyan architect and political activist Hana ElHebshi was honored for helping document the violence of her country's revolution.

Aneesa Ahmed won for her work against domestic violence in the Maldives.

Pakistani human rights activist Shad Begum was recognized for providing political training, education, and microcredit facilities in one of her country's most conservative districts.

Saudi political activist Samar Badawi won for launching legal challenges to laws restricting women's rights to marry, work or travel without the permission of a male guardian.

Sudanese human rights activist Hawa Abdhallah was recognized for speaking out for the rights of internally displaced civilians from the Darfur region.

Turkish parliamentarian Safak Pavey was honored for promoting the rights of the physically disabled, women and minorities in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

Joining Secretary Clinton at the awards ceremony, first lady Michelle Obama said these women refused to accept the world the way it was.

"They saw corruption, and they worked to expose it," Michelle Obama said. "They saw oppression, and they worked to end it.  They saw violence, poverty, discrimination and inequality, and they decided to use their voices and risk their lives to do something about it.  Day after day, these women have stood up and said the things that no one else could say or would say.  Year after year, they endured hardships that few of us could bear.”

Secretary Clinton called on this year's winners, past recipients, and men and women everywhere to continue working for gender equality.

"We want a great crescendo of voices, an international chorus that says clearly and unequivocally that women and girls deserve the same rights and opportunities as their fathers and brothers and sons," she said.

Since 2007, the U.S. Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage has honored women from 34 countries who have shown leadership in campaigning for women's rights.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs