Celebrating International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Yesterday, Futures Without Violence celebrated International Women’s Day by attending the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony. First Lady Michelle Obama joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer to present the honor to ten inspirational women from around the world. Special guests included Ms. Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Ms. Tawakkol Karman of Libya, two of the three women 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who advocated for women’s equality and empowerment.

The Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage “recognizes women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.” Futures Without Violence was among the many NGOs present to witness the awards ceremony and recognize these exceptional figures.

Following the event, two of the ten honorees joined Futures Without Violence staff at our Washington, DC office to discuss their work and vision. The Honorable Maryam Durani, Kandahar Provincial Council Member (Afghanistan) and Shad Begum, human rights activist and founder/executive director of Anjuman Behbood-e-Khawateen Talah (the Union of Women’s Welfare) (Pakistan) shared their thoughts on how to end violence against women and girls in their countries. Both spoke in favor of a comprehensive, multisectoral approach that includes economic development, educational opportunities, social norm change campaigns, health services, as well as the engagement of men and boys as partners.

Congratulations to the honorees! It was a privilege for our organization to participate in the ceremony and host you at our office.

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