Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Fartun Abdisalam Haji Adan, Executive Director of Elman Peace and Somalia Sister is one the nine winners of the 2013 International Women’s Courage Award given on Friday by the US Government for the role they played in the protection of women and children’s rights.
The Award ceremony was held in Washington, D. C. on the occasion of the 102 anniversary of the International Women’s Day celebrated on 08 March. The winners included a young Indian girl who died after brutal rape by gangs.
“These women stepped up to do something about inhumane activities perpetrated against women whose countries ignored the protection of women’s rights,” said first lady of America, Michael Obama. She appealed to the women in the world to follow the steps of the women honored in this year.
The winners are from Somalia, Honduras, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, Russia, Vietnam, and India. Five women were not present during the award ceremony.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry who spoke on the occasion said that the honored women include an Indian women who died because of the brutal gang rape, woman in prison, woman in house arrest and a women whose name has been kept secret for her safety.
In addition, Secretary Kerry said that the Obama Administration put the issue of women and girls at the center of the American’s foreign policy and that in all American embassies thorough out the world have initiated programs for the protection of women’s rights.
Introducing Fartun Haji Adan, Secretary Kerry said, “Fartun worked alongside her husband advocating for peace and education in Somalia for years before warlords assassinated her husband in 1996. Fartun then fled to Canada and she raised their three daughters there as refugees. But in 2007, with Mogadishu torn apart by violence, Fartun returned home to continue her work for justice and reconciliation in Somalia. She started with pressing problems that are far too often absolutely ignored in patriarchal societies-rape and other sexual gender based violence like child marriage.”
He continued by saying, “For courageously championing the rights of women and youth in Somalia through post-trauma support provision, skills training, education, and advocacy, and for never losing hope for a peaceful Somalia, we honor Fartun Adan as a woman of courage.”.
The honorees will tour many cities of the United States before they meet in San Diego, California to exchange what they have seen and discuss how they cooperate for the development of women and girls in the world.