Kurdish activist receives ‘ International Women of Courage’ Award
An Iraqi Kurdish Yazidi activist was among 14 women this year who received the “International Women of Courage Award” presented by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Tuesday
Nagham Nawzat Hasan is an Iraqi gynecologist and a member of the country’s persecuted Kurdish Yazidi minority.
She works with Yazidi girls kidnapped and raped by Islamic State (IS) militants.
“Fourteen leaders, fourteen role models, fourteen women of courage, one crystal clear message,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Don’t accept the unacceptable or wait for someone else to step up. Act in the name of justice. Act in the name of tolerance. Act on behalf of truth.”
All but one of the honorees were able to attend the ceremony in Washington, an annual event that began in 2007 to encourage women’s empowerment.
Islamic State group has captured most parts of Sinjar (Shingal) district in northwest Iraq on August 3, 2014 which led thousands of Kurdish families to flee to Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped in it and suffered from significant lack of water and food, killing and abduction of thousands of Yazidis as well as rape and captivity of thousands of women.
Thousands of Yazidi women and girls are still held captive by the militants who subject them to sexual slavery.
EU parliament recognizes Islamic State killing of Yazidi Kurds as- genocide on Feb. 4, 2016 while the U.S. declares Islamic State ‘committed genocide‘ against Yazidi Kurds, Christians on on March 16.
The 2016 honorees include women from Bangladesh, Belize, China, France, Guatemala, Iraq, Malaysia, Mauritania, Russia, Slovakia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Yemen.
Next month, the honorees will tour US cities to meet American people and discuss their work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.