Shadi Sadr, Iranian women's rights activist, is amongst the winners of this year's International Women of Courage Award given by US Department of State, Office of Global Women's Issues. On March 10, Hillary Clinton will present the awards to the honorees at the Department of State. Shadi Sadr also won the Dutch "Human Rights Tulip" award and Lech Walesa human rights award last year.
Following is the press release from US Department of State about 2010 award winners
Secretary Clinton Announces the Winners of the
Secretary's 2010 International Women of Courage Award
Source: US Department of State, Office of the Spokesman, Washington, DC
The awardees are: Shukria Asil (Afghanistan), Col. Shafiqa Quraishi (Afghanistan), Androula Henriques (Cyprus), Sonia Pierre (Dominican Republic), Shadi Sadr (Iran), Ann Njogu (Kenya), Dr. Lee Ae-ran (Republic of Korea), Jansila Majeed (Sri Lanka), Sister Marie Claude Naddaf (Syria), and Jestina Mukoko (Zimbabwe).
The annual International Women of Courage Award was started in March 2007 to recognize women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and advancement. This is the only award within the Department of State that pays tribute to outstanding women leaders worldwide. It recognizes the courage and leadership shown as they struggle for social justice and human rights.
"These ten women have overcome personal adversity, threats, arrest, and assault to dedicate themselves to activism for human rights," said Melanne Verveer, the State Department's first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues. "From striving to give more voice to politically underrepresented women in Afghanistan to documenting human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, these heroic individuals have made it their life's work to increase freedom and equality in the world."
The International Women of Courage Awards will be open to the press. Additional details will be forthcoming.
Award recipients will be in Washington and available for interviews from March 7 - 12. Media contact for scheduling is Ruth Bennett, 202-647-7282 or 202-279-0380 (cell).
NOTE: Biographies of the awardees are available on the Office of Global Women's Issues website.
Biography of Shadi Sadr, Iran
Ms. Sadr is a lawyer, journalist, and expert on women's legal rights and has written extensively about the status of women in Iran. Until it was closed down by the Iranian government, she was the director of Raahi, a legal advice center for women. She founded Zanan-e Iran (Women of Iran), the first website dedicated to the work of Iranian women's rights activists. She has represented activists and journalists, including several women sentenced to execution, whose convictions were subsequently overturned. Sadr is also involved in Women's Field, a group of women's rights activists who have launched several campaigns, including the "Stop Stoning Forever" Campaign.
Ms. Sadr was among 33 women arrested in March 2007 for gathering outside a Tehran courtroom to peacefully protest the trial of five Iranian women who were accused of "propaganda against the system" and similar charges. She was held in prison for over two weeks before being released on bail. In the midst of the post-election unrest, Sadr was arrested by plainclothes militiamen on July 17, 2009, as she walked to Friday prayers. She was released, after international outcry, 11 days later, and fled to Germany, where she has remained a staunch activist for women's legal rights.
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