Michelle Obama Decorates Ghulam Sughra & Others


Washington, DC: On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the annual International Women of Courage awards to 10 women from around the world.

“They've risked their lives; they've served in prison; they've been harassed and oppressed; sometimes their own children's lives have been at risk.  They have been insulted, beaten and tortured.  And yet each of these women has found the strength to persevere in the face of fear, isolation or repression.  And they've done so not just one day or one year, but day after day and year after year,” Clinton said. 

“These women are amazing. They are trail-blazing leaders,” Mrs Obama said. “Each in her own way decided to act.  They decided to speak up, to publish an article, to file a lawsuit, to run for office, to open a school.  And they have done these things at great, tremendous risk to themselves and to their families.  They've received death threats.  They have been beaten, kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured.” 

This year’s awards were given to:

Ghulam Sughra, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Marvi Rural Development Organization in Pakistan; Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, the first female president in Central Asia who recently guided the country to democracy; Maria Bashir, the Prosecutor General in Herat Province, Afghanistan who is working to fight domestic abuse; Nasta Palazhanka, the Deputy Chairperson of Malady Front (Young Front), a non-governmental organization in Belarus; Henriette Ekwe Ebongo, a journalist and publisher of Bebela in Cameroon; Guo Jianmei, lawyer and Director of the Beijing Zhongze Women’s Legal Counseling and Service Center in China; Yoani Sanchez, Innovator and Blogger, Founder of Generación Y blog in Cuba; Agnes Osztolykan, Member of Parliament, Hungary; Eva Abu Halaweh, Executive Director of Mizan Law Group for Human Rights in Jordan; and Marisela Morales Ibañez, Deputy Attorney General for Special Investigations against Organized Crime in Mexico.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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