International Women of Courage

U.S. State Department honors 14 leaders from around the world

12 of the 14 recipients. (L-R, TOP ROW) RODJARAEG WATTANAPANIT; VICKY NTETEMA; AWADEYA MAHMOUD; DEBRA BAPTIST-ESTRADA; (L-R, 2ND ROW) DR. NAGHAM NAWZAT HASAN; FATIMA M'BAYE; ZUZANA STEVULOVA; NI YULAN; (L-R 3RD ROW) NISHA AYUB; THELMA ALDANA; LATIFA IBN ZIATEN; DR. NIHAL ALI AL-AWLAQI

Fourteen women were honored by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday with the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award, honoring women who have “exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk.” The award has been handed out annually since 2007 and is the only State Department award to honor female leaders worldwide. The award ceremony today featured discussions with the awardees from all over the world, including Bangladesh, Guatemala, Iraq, Tanzania, Russia, Yemen, and Sudan, who talked about fighting for women’s rights, democracy, and social justice.

The 2016 awardees are:

Sara Hossain, Barrister, Supreme Court, Bangladesh

Debra Baptist-Estrada, Port Commander, Belize Immigration and Nationality, Belize

Ni Yulan, Human Rights Activist, China

Latifa Ibn Ziaten, Interfaith Activist, France

Thelma Aldana, Attorney General, Guatemala

Nagham Nawzat, Yezidi Activist and Gynecologist, Iraq

Nisha Ayub, Transgender Rights Advocate, Malaysia

Fatimata M’baye, Co-founder and President of the Mauritanian Association for Human Rights, Mauritania

Zhanna Nemtsova, Journalist and Activist, Russia

Zuzana Števulová, Director of the Human Rights League, Slovakia

Awadeya Mahmoud, Founder and Chair of the Women’s Food and Tea Sellers’ Cooperative and the Women’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative for Khartoum State, Sudan

Vicky Ntetema, Executive Director of Under the Same Sun, Tanzania

Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit, Bookstore Owner and Co-founder of Creating Awareness for Enhanced Democracy, Thailand

Nihal Naj Ali Al-Awlaqi, Minister of Legal Affairs, Yemen

Watch International Woman of Courage Award recipient Zhanna Nemtsova on stage at the 2015 Women in the World London Summit, below:

Read more at The State Department.

Related:

Transgender rights advocate honored with International Women of Courage Award

Zhanna Nemtsova: “I will never live in Putin’s Russia”

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