Award winning Shad begum has done nothing to merit threats: Husband

Published: March 10, 2012

US 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

PESHAWAR: Shad Begum, who was awarded the International Women of Courage award on Thursday, was described as a simple and traditional woman, who was helping improve education, health of women and girls in her locality by her husband.

Jan Muhammad, Shad begum’s husband said that he was surprised at threats pouring in. “She was working under hard times when militants activity was ripe in Dir,” explains Muhammad.

Shad Bibi had to shift to Peshawar because of the threats. “She is a very simple and traditional woman, why would she receive threats?” he asked.

Recounting the tradition of social work in his family he said that his family was working since the 1970′s in Dir under the banner of Idarar-e- Khidmati-e-Khalq. In the 1980′s, Shad begum’s father, Doctor Noor Muhammad lead the organisation. “Shad begum was nine years old at the time,” he said, adding “she was helping the women and girls of the locality on various projects of health and education.”

He said that he could not understand what his wife had done that merited death threats.

On Thursday, Shad Begum, along with nine other women from around the world were awarded the

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.

She was among 10 women who were given the award from as many countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Sudan, Cambodia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Turkey and Brazil.

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