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.