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U.S. State Department To Honor International Women Of Courage

  • RFE/RL

The United States will present 10 women from around the world with the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.

First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the ceremony at the State Department in Washington on March 5..

Since 2007, the annual award has recognized women who have demonstrated "exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk."

This year’s recipients include Captain Niloofar Rahmani, the first female fixed-wing Afghan Air Force pilot, Arbana Xharra, editor-in-chief of Kosovo’s Zeri newspaper, and Pakistani women’s rights advocate Tabassum Adnan.

The State Department says Rahmani remains determined to continue her career despite “threats from the Taliban and from members of her extended family, who disapproved of her career and ambition.”

It says that Xharra’s reporting “contributes to the strengthening of Kosovo’s nascent democracy” and that Adnan, founder of the nongovernmental organization Khwendo Jirga (Sister’s Council), continues to address women’s issues such as honor killings and acid attacks despite numerous threats.