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Iranian Activist Among Recipients of 2024 International Women of Courage Awards

March 4, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

Iranian women’s rights activist Fariba Balouch will be among 13 recipients being honored in Washington Monday at the annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards ceremony at the White House.

On Friday, the State Department announced that Balouch was one of those being recognized at the ceremony hosted by first lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In its 18th year, the Secretary of State's IWOC Award recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls.

Fariba Balouch is an Iranian human rights activist residing in London.

The State Department press release recognizing her said, “She is from Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan Province and a member of Iran's marginalized Baluchi ethnic group. She is outspoken about women's rights and the human rights crisis in Sistan and Baluchistan, which has been disproportionately affected by regime violence, executions, and systemic discrimination.”

“As a result of her activism and in an effort to intimidate her, Iranian authorities have threated her life and detained her son and brother in Iran. Yet, Ms. Balouch believes the only way forward is resistance, and she persists in her activism. Ms. Balouch continues to advocate for Iranian women's rights and to draw attention to the Iranian regime's gender-, ethnicity-, and sect-based discrimination,” the State Department said.

The documentary film "In This Cage," created by Hojjat Tavakoli, a journalist from the Persian service of VOA, chronicles the life of Fariba Balouch. It offers insight into her challenging journey and illuminates the collective struggles of the inhabitants, particularly women, in Sistan and Baluchistan.

Benafsha Yaqoobi from Afghanistan, Rina Gonoi from Japan, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello from Cuba, and Fawzia Karim Firoze from Bangladesh are also recipients of the 2024 International Women of Courage Award.

Since March 2007, the Department of State has recognized more than 190 women from 90 countries with the IWOC Award.

During the 2023 International Women of Courage Award ceremony held on March 8, 2023, the Madeleine Albright Honorary Group Award was bestowed upon the Women and Girl Protestors of Iran.



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