Monday, March 4, 2013

International Women of Courage Honorees Start Their Tour of United States in Pittsburgh; Local Arrangements Made by GlobalPittsburgh

Four winners of the 2013 International Women of Courage award from the U.S. Department of State launched their tour of the United States in Pittsburgh Monday with two days of meetings and speaking events arranged by GlobalPittsburgh.

International Women of Courage
Honorees in Pittsburgh with
Thomas Buell, Jr. of
GlobalPittsburgh and Angela
Oatis-Ashby of the U.S.
Department of State (right).
Stopping in Pittsburgh were (from left in photo) Fartuun Adan, Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre (Somalia); Malalai Bahaduri, First Sergeant, Afghan National Interdiction Unit (Afghanistan); Dr. Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, President, Campaign for Democracy (Nigeria); and Samira Ibrahim, Coordinator, Know Your Rights (Egypt).

Since their visit, it has been announced that Ibrahim will not be honored due to apparent anti-semitic remarks on her Twitter feed. Read more at

The other winners, announced Monday by the State Department, are:
Julieta Castellanos, Rector, National Autonomous University of Honduras (Honduras)
Elena Milashina, journalist, human rights activist (Russia)
Tsering Woeser, human rights activist (China) *
Razan Zeitunah, human rights lawyer and Founder, Local Coordination Committees (Syria) *
Ta Phong Tan, blogger (Vietnam) *
* Will be awarded in absentia.

To read biographies and see pictures of all the International Women of Courage honorees, go to

While in Pittsburgh, the group met with representatives of the Women & Girl's Foundation, Chatham University, the University of Pittsburgh Law School and Gwen's Girls. Chatham University and GlobalPittsburgh partnered together on an invitation-only event for the group Monday night.

The International Women of Courage awards event, held on International Women’s Day on March 8, annually 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. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 69 women from 45 different countries.

In addition, Secretary Kerry will posthumously recognize the courage of Nirbhaya (Braveheart), the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern whose brutal gang rape in Delhi has inspired a popular movement to end violence against women in India.

Following the award ceremony in Washington, the honorees will travel separately to cities across the United States to engage with the American people through the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. They will visit Indianapolis, Portland, OR, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa, and Jackson Hole, WY. The women will reconvene in San Diego to reflect on their visit and discuss ways to work together to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

The group's national itinerary was developed by Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C.

Read an article about the group's visit in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at

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