US awards Baloch activist Jalila Haider with ‘International Women of Courage’ award

Jalila is known for her blunt activism and fearless advocacy of human rights.

The ‘Iron Lady of Pakistan’ Jalila Haider has been honoured for her relentless services to humanity. For her blunt activism and fearless advocacy of human rights despite the challenges in Pakistan, Jalila has been awarded with ‘International Women of Courage’ (IWOC) Award from the US.

United States Department of State announced a list of 12 extraordinary women who have changed the world. Jalila Haider is the first female lawyer from the persecuted Hazara community in Balochistan. She is always present on the front-line of protests for missing persons, women rights and is a brave voice against extremism in Pakistan.

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will host the annual IWOC Awards ceremony while The First Lady of the United States Melania Trump will address it.

The IWOC Award ‘recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment at great personal risk.’

Jalila’s achievements were honoured in these words:

“The first female attorney of her Hazara community, Haider led a peaceful hunger strike to recognise the right to life for the Hazara following a series of targeted attacks. Ms Haider has taken up the cause of many other vulnerable communities. As Balochistan’s President of the Women Democratic Front and Balochistan’s branch of the Aurat (Woman’s) March, she fought against violence against women in public spaces, at work, and at home.”

~ Other names present on the list are:
  • Zarifa Ghafari from Afghanistan,
  • Lucy Kocharyan from Armenia,
  • Shahla Humbatova from Azerbaijan,
  • Ximena Galarza from Bolivia,
  • Claire Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso,
  • Sayragul Sauytbay from China,
  • Susanna Liew from Malaysia,
  • and Amaya Coppens (Nicaragua).

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