Pakistani activist gets US’ International Women of Courage Award

Published: March 8, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (3rd L) and First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) stand with four of the ten winners during the State Department's 2012 International Women of Courage Award winners ceremony. in Washington March 8, 2012. From left, Maryam Durani of Afghanistan, Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Samar Badawi of Saudi Arabia, Shad Begum of Pakistan, and Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih of Sudan. PHOTO: REUTERS

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (3rd L) and First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) stand with four of the ten winners during the State Department's 2012 International Women of Courage Award winners ceremony.  in Washington March 8, 2012. From left, Maryam Durani of Afghanistan, Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Samar Badawi of Saudi Arabia, Shad Begum of Pakistan, and Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih of Sudan. PHOTO: REUTERS Shad Begum hails from Lower Dir district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is among 10 recipients from all over the world. PHOTO: JAMES RUPERT/NEWSDAY

WASHINGTON: A Pakistani woman activist from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been conferred with the International Women of Courage award by the US.

Shad Begum was presented the award by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a ceremony on Thursday, which was also attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman.

Shad hails from Lower Dir district of Malakand division, which was briefly under militant rule before the Pakistan Army launched an operation in May 2009. She has been recognised for her contribution to the improvement in the lives of women in conservative communities.

Shad is among 10 women who were given the award from as many countries, which are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Sudan, Cambodia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Turkey and Brazil.

Born in 1974, Shad founded the Anjuman Behbud-e-Khawateen Talash (ABKT) in Lower Dir in 1994 to work on women rights and development. The organisation has now been renamed as the Association for Behaviour and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT).

Last year, a Pakistani woman named Ghulam Sughra, was given the award.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (28)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:23AM

    Another courageous woman of Pakistan – Shad Begum.

    Pakistan is proud of you.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Kudos – maybe Pakistan should start giving awards?

    Recommend

  • Awais Ch
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Strange!!! US knows her but Pakistan doesn’t…..

    Recommend

  • Scientist
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:50AM

    To all liberals: How come these ladies were able to get rewards with hijabs & abbayas?

    Point to Ponder: Islam doesn’t stop you from achieving anything if you know what Islam is!

    Congratulations to these Muslimahs!

    Recommend

  • Umer
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:52AM

    Great…

    Now she is an activist and does know how to dress compare to Sharmeen…

    Recommend

  • Congratulations. We are proud of you sister

    Recommend

  • Zeta
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:18AM

    Well done hard working ladies of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Mir
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:35AM

    @Awais Ch:
    we didnt recongnise sharmeen before oscar. We need to appreciate our heroes. Anyways congratulations to Shad begum.

    Recommend

  • Modasar
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Great work by Shad Begum, i hope Pak government appreciate her afford for improving womens lives in Pakistan. She is an other courageous woman to win the award after Sharmeen. There always Pashtuns and Sindhi winning the awards for pakistan none punjabi. shame on the punjabis!

    Recommend

  • Arif
    Mar 9, 2012 - 4:45AM

    Great, congratulations!

    Recommend

  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Mar 9, 2012 - 6:10AM

    @Modasar:
    “Pehli aap”, is the Punjabi way. And most Punjabis are proud of it. In any case MORE developmental work was needed in the other provinces. We now have to recognise ladies from Baluchistan and the Northern Areas.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 9, 2012 - 8:59AM

    This only proves that the US has nothing against hijab and practicing Muslims. They are rewarding and appreciating their humanitarian work not their attire.

    Recommend

  • owais
    Mar 9, 2012 - 9:39AM

    @Scientist:

    i think you have the wrong idea of liberalism. being liberal is all about being progressive, having an open mind, supporting equal rights for all, it has nothing to do with how one dresses. in fact, the holy prophet was a liberal by all standards of his time…

    Recommend

  • Sajid
    Mar 9, 2012 - 9:40AM

    @Scientist:

    Dude, she was recognized and acknowledged by liberals to begin with! she is fighting an ordinance erected by conservatives! for god’s sake!

    Recommend

  • ayesha azeem
    Mar 9, 2012 - 9:44AM

    First it was Arfa Karim who Represented Pakistan on international Level,Then Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and now Shad Beghum….Pakistan women are on their way….MASHALLAH..Keep it up Ladies..

    Recommend

  • umer timergara lower dir
    Mar 9, 2012 - 10:07AM

    an outstanding job has been done by her, cos she has done lots for the society now she needs security for being protected from the militants .she needs to be cautious.

    Recommend

  • umer timergara lower dir
    Mar 9, 2012 - 10:21AM

    an outstanding and magnificent work done by her .

    Recommend

  • aliza awais
    Mar 9, 2012 - 10:50AM

    1.Malala Yousufzai
    2.Arfa Karim Randhwa
    3.Sharmeen obaid Chinoy
    4.Shad Beghum
    and Ofcourse VEENA MALIK are highlighting Pakistan on International LEVEL…
    Pakistan zindabad

    Recommend

  • ht312
    Mar 9, 2012 - 11:36AM

    the sad part is people comparing her with sharmeen chinoy based on clothes and appearance.

    Recommend

  • Baba Ji
    Mar 9, 2012 - 11:50AM

    Congrats …

    what did she do BTW ?

    Recommend

  • Faraz
    Mar 9, 2012 - 1:38PM

    Can people come out of what somebody is wearing???? Does that even matter? Why have we become moral judge of everyone but not ourselves??? I don’t care what somebody is wearing or not wearing as long as they are working for a good cause. The women here are wearing hiajbs and have become heroes, had they been wearing not so Islamic dresses, people would be bashing them. Work matters not the clothes they are wearing, we are still living in the 6th century.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 9, 2012 - 1:57PM

    @Umer:
    Sharmeen can dress the way shes wants to just the same way that I or you can. PLEASE stop passing judgments of right and wrong on people. How does Sharmeen’s choice in clothes affect your life?

    Recommend

  • Mar 9, 2012 - 2:11PM

    @Scientist:
    You see the photo, they are all showing their faces, let this continue in Pakistan also.

    Recommend

  • alam khurshid
    Mar 9, 2012 - 5:09PM

    How is it that all women awarded are from Islamic countries? Of course, my first thought is Allah has a special blessing for we believers by granting the women courage. We are the chosen ones.

    Then, it slowly sunk on me. To be oppressed you need an oppressor. And we have plenty of those in our religious culture. And that is a sad reflection of the Islamic world today.

    Recommend

  • shezy
    Mar 9, 2012 - 5:40PM

    If America give us award, or we got Oscar, then we think its proud for us….
    we are still slave of western society,
    They are killing people in Plastine, Iraq, Afghanistan…..
    just to cover their crimes they give us a toffee like awards and we become happy….

    Recommend

  • Mazari
    Mar 9, 2012 - 6:38PM

    Double standards by US, just to gain sympathy of the muslim world , our great sisters are being praised !! why not praise Afia siddiqui ? when a murderer can be set free ( Raymond Davis) why cant a suspect be released who did not cause any harm !!! wheres your justice and freedom ??
    A nation claiming to be the leader of world on all aspects of humanity and life in the history of of over 300 years has failed to produce a female president and just introduced women voting rights hardly few years back is trying to portray itself a humane nation ??

    Recommend

  • Sarah
    Mar 11, 2012 - 7:24AM

    Why does the headline say only 3 Muslim women? They are four- you left out Hawa Mohamed Salih of Sudan from the headline and the photo. Not nice!

    Recommend

  • laiba yousafzai
    Mar 14, 2012 - 3:35PM

    weldone great ladies…

    Recommend

More in KP & FATA