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Dhaka Tribune

Nadia Sharmeen to get US award for bravery

Update : 06 Mar 2015, 01:57 PM

Bangladeshi journalist Nadia Sharmeen, who was attacked by Hefazat-e Islam supporters in Dhaka on May 5, 2013, has been selected for the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.

Journalist Nadia was assaulted on May 5, 2013, in Purana Paltan in Dhaka by supporters of Hefazat-e-Islam zealots while she was covering the Dhaka siege.

US Deputy Secretary Higginbottom, on behalf of the US Department of State, will present 10 extraordinary women from 10 countries, including the Bangladeshi journalist, with the award in Washington.

The award ceremony was scheduled to be held on March 5. Later, the authorities postponed the programme due to inclement weather, said a press statement.

However, the press note did not mention the new date for handing the award to the awardees.

According to the press release, US First Lady Michelle Obama will join Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and the awardees as a special guest at the afternoon ceremony at the US Department of State.

The 2015 awardees are: Captain Niloofar Rahmani, Afghan Air Force (Afghanistan), Nadia Sharmeen, journalist, women’s rights activist (Bangladesh), Rosa Julieta Montaño Salvatierra, Founder and Director, Oficina Jurídica para la Mujer (Bolivia), May Sabe Phyu, Director, Gender Equality Network (Burma), Béatrice Epaye, President, Fondation Voix du Coeur (Central African Republic), Marie Claire Tchecola, nurse, Ebola survivor and activist (Guinea), Sayaka Osakabe, Founder and Representative, Matahara Net (Japan), Arbana Xharra, Editor-in-Chief, Zeri (Kosovo), Tabassum Adnan, Founder, Khwendo Jirga (Pakistan), and Majd Chourbaji, External Relations Director, Women Now for Development Centers (Syria).

Following the award ceremony and meetings with US government officials and non-governmental organisation counterparts in Washington, DC, the honourees will travel individually to cities across the United States to participate in professional meetings and events, and engage with the American people through an International Visitor Leadership Program.

They will visit Atlanta, Chicago, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Pensacola, Pittsburgh, and San Diego.

The women will reconvene in New York to participate in the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, reflect on their visit, and discuss ways to work together to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award annually recognises women around the globe 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 reflect women’s roles as agents of change and leaders in many of the crises and challenges facing the world today, from countering violent extremism to promoting security and recovery from the Ebola viral disease.

Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 86 women from more than 50 different countries.

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