Thursday, March 7, 2013

Voice of America to Honor 9 Women of Courage!

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo with the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony winners: the Honorable Maryam Durani, Kandahar Provincial Council Member (Afghanistan); Major Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo, police officer, Rio de Janeiro Military Police (Brazil); Zin Mar Aung, political activist and NGO co-founder (Burma); Jineth Bedoya Lima, investigative journalist (Colombia); Hana Elhebshi, architect and political activist (Libya); Aneesa Ahmed, gender-based violence (GBV) activist and former Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs (Maldives); Shad Begum, human rights activist and founder/executive director of Anjuman Behbood-e-Khawateen Talah (the Union of Women's Welfare) (Pakistan); Samar Badawi, political activist (Saudi Arabia); Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih, human rights activist (Sudan); and the Honorable Safak Pavey, Member of Parliament (Turkey), at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on March 8, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
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Were you aware that the Voice of America awards women the title of being courageous each year? This year, Michelle Obama will be giving this award to 9 women from various countries, honoring them for their acts of courage, and these women are truly exceptional. 

Recently, the US State Department released an article about these 9 women regarding their acts of courage, where they are from, and why they are receiving these awards. At a time when the world could use more peace, it's refreshing to see this award being given to so many women! 

The question is, as a woman, what do you call courageous? Do you feel as though it often takes courage just for you to make it through one day with your children and everything on your list? It has a few of us shaking our heads, and wondering what we could do to help change the world, or create a better place for our children right? 

Here is a bit about these women, and what they did with their time and talent to help make the world a better place! 

Voice of America Chooses International Women for The Award of Courageous Woman! 

Malalai Bahaduri 

While this name may not ring a bell with you, Malalai is one of the women being awarded along with 8 others for the Women of Courage award by Michelle Obama. She is a Second Lieutenant, and at the age of 2 she was born in the Wardak Province, Kabul. Although she was living under the Taliban rules, she received her educationg through grade 12, which is something that very few women were able to do. 

The year 2002 brought a lot of promise for her as her husband supported her decision to go into law enforcement. Surprisingly, the only threats of death and pain were from her own uncle who abused her and broke her nose as a result of her decision in changing her career. 

Her perservance and her desire to be a mother of 3 and have a career, kept her going, and she was the first woman to be named as a member of the Afghan National Interdiction Unit, and she has played an important role in forming the Counter Narcotics Police. Her story is one of courage and determination, and when asked why she fought her way through, she simply stated that it was important for men and women to have equal rights. 

Now that she has grandchildren, they will have quite a legacy before them, and one that we can all learn from as women! 

Voice of America also is presenting Julieta Castellanos from Honduras with an award of courage as well. For Julieta, it's more than dealing with women's right or issues. Julieta is concerned and deeply driven by everything that affects her home country of Honduras. 

She took big steps in working with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and has made countless efforts in helping her nation recover from violent political acts. Julieta has taken great care in forming an organization that covers more than 400 organizations, and champions them toward a civil society. This has not been an easy feat for this country, as violence has repeatedly been the norm. 

Would Voice of America Choose You? 

Now that you have had a chance to read more about the Voice of America in choosing these 9 women of courage, would they choose you? Could  the Voice of America find courage in you, so much so that they would be compelled too award you for  making a difference? 

The reality is that not only should you take a stand for what is right, but you as a woman are the guidepost for our children, and for teaching our young women how they should live. Are you as a woman doing everything that you should do? 

If you are not, then consider how you can use your gifts and talents to help others, and how you can be more instrumental in changing the world. Be the change you want to see, and for you that could start in your home. Perhaps, you have daugthers at home, and you would  like to see them grow into strong, Godly, and courageous women. 

If you need a little help, check out our website at, and be sure to check out how you can wear your courage too! Remember, it's always wise to live courageously! 

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