The dynamic activism activity of Contreras has received widespread support from the Venezuelan people and is at the center of the civil political movement that strives for democratic change. In an environment where the government routinely jailed opponents, tortured, harassed, threatened or imposed restrictions on their actions, Contreras defends the rights of citizens by putting their lives at serious risk. Advocating for employee rights, Contreras worked tirelessly to ensure that healthcare workers receive financial support under the Interim President Juan Guido’s Health Heroes program.
In addition to the International Women Brave Awards, which will be presented on March 8, Blinken will also present an International Brave Women Honor Award in memory of seven Afghan women who were assassinated while serving their communities at a critical time in Afghanistan’s history. These painful murders reveal the alarming trend of the increasing number of women being targeted in Afghanistan. The United States condemns these acts of violence.
Fatema Natasha Khalil, Afghanistan Independent Commissioner for Human Rights, who was killed with her driver by a handmade explosive device in Kabul on her way to work in June 2020.
General Sharmila Frough, Head of the Gender Unit within the NDS, as the longest serving female officer of the Directorate of National Security (NDS), formerly Chief of the Abduction Unit and working on combating crime syndicates. General Frough died in March 2020 when his vehicle was blown up with a handmade explosive in Kabul.
· Maryam Noorzad, Doctors Without Borders midwife who worked in remote areas of Wardak and Bamyan provinces before working at Kabul FD13 hospital. On May 12, 2020, three armed men attacked the hospital’s delivery room, and Maryam did not deliver her patient, whose birth began at that time. In the attack, Maryam, sick and newborn baby died.
Fatima Rajabi, 23-year-old police officer originally from Ghazni and member of the anti-drugs unit. In July 2020, while traveling in a civilian minibus towards his village of Jaghori district, the Taliban stopped the vehicle and captured him. Two weeks later, the Taliban killed Fatima and sent her body, which was filled with wounds and signs of torture from the opened gun, to her family.
· Freshta is a 35-year-old prison guard who is the daughter of Amir Mohamed and works in the Prison Administration. On October 25, 2020, he was shot dead by an unknown person while heading for a taxi from his home in Kandahar to work.
Malalai Maiwand, Enikas Radio and TV reporter who died with her driver as a result of an attack on her vehicle in Jalalabad on 20 December 2020. Malalai was not the first target in his family. Five years ago, her mother, an activist, was gunned down by an unknown person.
Freshta Kohistani is a 29-year-old women’s rights and democracy activist who was assassinated by an unknown person near her home in the city of Kapsia on December 24, 2020. Kohistani was regularly organizing events on women’s rights in Afghanistan and using the social media platform to convey his messages.
Since this year’s International Brave Women Award Ceremony will be held in a virtual environment, face-to-face interviews will not be held with the winners. However, media organizations may request to interview the award winners in a virtual environment by sending an e-mail to (hidden) address. For news and updates on this year’s awards, we point out that you can use the # IWOC2021 and #WomenOfCourage hashtags on social media. For questions regarding the award, please contact the Global Office for Women’s Affairs (hidden). For questions about IVLP (Visitor Leadership Program), contact (hidden).
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