ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A Kurdish Yezidi (Ezidi) woman, Nagham Nawzat Hasan, received the 2016 International Women of Courage Award, presented by US Secretary of State.
On March 29, John Kerry will present the award to a group of extraordinary women from around the world, including Kurdistan.
Hasan is a Ezidi activist and gynecologist among the select group of women honored with this years' award. According to the US Department of State, she has dedicated her career to promoting gender equality, combatting gender-based violence, and providing psychological support to survivors.
After the 2014 takeover of the city of Sinjar (Shingal) by Islamic State (IS) which resulted in the attempted genocide and massacre of thousands of Ezidi and subsequent enslavement of Ezidi women, Hasan focused her efforts on rescuing and helping Ezidi girls and women traumatized by IS.
Hasan was one of the first physicians to provide psychological counseling and health screenings to those rescued and able to escape.
Presently, she regularly visits Internally Displaced Camps mostly populated by Ezidi and encourages parents to allow their daughters to visit her clinic for basic health care and psycho-social support.
The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award annually recognizes women all 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.
According to the US Department of State, since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department has awarded nearly 100 women from 60 different countries.
The following are the 2016 awardees:
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, Ezidi 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
Reporting by Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Benjamin Kweskin