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Women From Afghanistan, Kosovo, Kazakhstan Among 2018 Courage Award Honorees


Kazakh lawyer Aiman Omarova is among those who who has been honored with an International Women of Courage Award. (file photo)

Ten women from countries including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Kosovo are being honored with the U.S. State Department's International Women of Courage Award (IWOC) for 2018.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will host the annual IWOC ceremony on March 23. First Lady Melania Trump is to deliver remarks at the ceremony.

The award is presented annually to women from around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women's rights.

The 2018 awardees include:

Roya Sadat of Afghanistan is a well-known rights defender who uses television and cinema to tell stories of Afghan women and girls despite enormous personal risks linked to cultural, bureaucratic, and financial obstacles.

Aiman Omarova of Kazakhstan is a prominent lawyer who specializes in sexual abuse crimes committed against women and children, and works with political and rights detainees.

Feride Rushiti of Kosovo is the founder and executive director of the Kosovo Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, whose activism led to a landmark government ruling on awarding pensions to victims of Kosovo wartime sexual violence.

The other seven are Aura Elena Farfan of Guatemala, Julissa Villlanueva of Honduras, Aliyah Khalaf Saleh of Iraq, Maria Elena Berini of Italy, L'Malouma Said of Mauritania, Godelive Mukasarasi of Rwanda, and Sirikan Charoensiri of Thailand.

CORRECTION: This article has been amended to reflect the fact that the 10 women in question are awardees, not finalists.

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