Eight courageous women who are making you safer

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images This morning, I attended the 2nd Annual International Woman of Courage Awards, presented by Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky in honor of Saturday’s International Women’s Day. Out of the 95 women worldwide who received the honor, eight were invited to personally accept the award at the ceremony. The awardees ...

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596061_080310_rice2.jpg

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

This morning, I attended the 2nd Annual International Woman of Courage Awards, presented by Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky in honor of Saturday's International Women's Day. Out of the 95 women worldwide who received the honor, eight were invited to personally accept the award at the ceremony.

The awardees are an inspiring group of women, including: Suraya Pakzad from Afghanistan, whose organization Voice of Women sheltered and counseled women even throughout a repressive Taliban regime; Virisilia Buadromo of Fiji, who heads up the Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM), and pushes for family law reform, Eaman Al-Gobory from Iraq, a physician with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) who has worked tirelessly to find specialized medical care for Iraqis whose afflictions cannot be treated within Iraq; and Binal Thawabteh a Palestinian women's rights activist who has encouraged and trained women to seek public office, and recently founded a monthly newspaper that raises such hot-button issues as polygamy and honor killings. Other awardees hailed from newly independent Kosovo, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Somalia.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

This morning, I attended the 2nd Annual International Woman of Courage Awards, presented by Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky in honor of Saturday’s International Women’s Day. Out of the 95 women worldwide who received the honor, eight were invited to personally accept the award at the ceremony.

The awardees are an inspiring group of women, including: Suraya Pakzad from Afghanistan, whose organization Voice of Women sheltered and counseled women even throughout a repressive Taliban regime; Virisilia Buadromo of Fiji, who heads up the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM), and pushes for family law reform, Eaman Al-Gobory from Iraq, a physician with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) who has worked tirelessly to find specialized medical care for Iraqis whose afflictions cannot be treated within Iraq; and Binal Thawabteh a Palestinian women’s rights activist who has encouraged and trained women to seek public office, and recently founded a monthly newspaper that raises such hot-button issues as polygamy and honor killings. Other awardees hailed from newly independent Kosovo, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Somalia.

The rise of NGOs such as The Initiative for Inclusive Security reflects growing awareness that women’s full participation in society isn’t just about justice and fairness, it’s also about security. Choosing to honor these particular eight women — all from areas ravaged by conflict and instability — clearly shows that this is also the line Rice means to take as she seeks to polish her legacy.

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