The U.S. Department of State has honoured two African women leaders among 12 outstanding women with the 2020 International Women of Courage (IWOC) awards. Dr. Rita Nyampinga from Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso’s Claire Ouedraogo are among the 12 recipients.
Dr. Rita Nyampinga was recognised for her campaign for gender equality in the workplace since she joined a trade union in 1983. The other African woman honoured with the award is Claire Ouedraogo was recognised for her works towards eradicating female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and promoting female empowerment through family planning education.
In its 14th year, the 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.
The US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo hosted the twelve women at the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020.
Other women honoured with the awards are Zarifa Ghafari (Afghanistan), Lucy Kocharyan (Armenia), Shahla Humbatova (Azerbaijan), Ximena Galarza (Bolivia), Sayragul Sauytbay (China), Susanna Liew (Malaysia), and Amaya Coppens (Nicaragua), Amina Khoulani (Syria), and Jalila Haider (Pakistan).
Past African women who has won the awards include Mama Maggie of Egypt, Anna Aloys Henga of Tanzania, and Moumina Houssein Darar of Djibouti made the 2019 list. In 2013, Nigerian activist, Joel Odumakin made the list of global leaders presented with the International Women of Courage Award.
The award which started in March 2007, has honoured 146 women form 77 countries.