Two Afghan and a Sri Lankan were among ten women to receive the prestigious International Women of Courage Awards for the year 2010 in recognition of their contributions in fighting discrimination and advancing human rights.
While Shukria Asil of Afghanistan is involved with promoting government being responsive to the needs of women, her countrywoman Colonel Shafiqa Quraishi promotes the integration of women in the government and police forces.
Jansila Majeed of Sri Lanka received the award for working for displaced Muslim and Tamil civilians.
Among the other awardees were Androula Henriques of Cyprus for leading the fight against human trafficking in her country, Shadi Sadr of Iran, who led an effort that led to the suspension of laws for death by stoning and Sonia Pierre of the Dominican Republic for advancing the cause of social justice confronting exploitation and discrimination among the Dominican and Haitian communities.
Ann Njogu of Kenya has been in the forefront of reforms in her country, while Lee Ae-ran of South Korea received the award for promoting human rights in the North Korean refugee community. Sister Marie Claude Naddaf of Syria was awarded for advancing social services for women in Syria while Jestina Mukoko of Zimbabwe is a longtime leader of human rights in that country.
The awards were given away by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.