Nepal’s Muskan Khatun among the recipients of 2021 International Women of Courage AwardMuskan will be receiving the US State Department’s prestigious award for her work to end acid attacks, the US embassy says.
Muskam Khatun from Nepal has been selected for the International Women of Courage Award for 2021 for her work to end acid attacks.
The United States Embassy in Nepal said in a statement that it is pleased to announce Muskan will be awarded the prestigious International Women of Courage Award for her work to end acid attacks.
“First Lady of the United States Jill Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken will host a virtual event on March 8,” said the embassy.
Muskan, 17, herself is an acid attack survivor.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that Nepal’s Muskan Khatun will be receiving the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award for her work to end acid attacks,” Berry wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Muskan was critically injured in an acid attack in September 2019 for rejecting a boy’s proposal when she was 15. She had suffered severe burns on her face, chest, and hands.
After the tragedy, Muskan worked hard to bring about changes and lobbied for stronger laws and punishment for acid attacks.
Subsequently, the government called for drafting a new law for acid attacks. The President promulgated an ordinance on acid attacks in September last year.
According to US Ambassador Berry, Khatun will be the first Nepali to win the award and one of the youngest awardees ever.
Now in its 15th year, the International Women of Courage Award recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, according to the US embassy.
According to the International Women of Courage, the award honours women who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in acting to improve the lives of others, from families to communities to countries.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity to bring international attention and support to women who have put their lives and/or personal safety at risk in order to improve their societies and inspire fellow citizens,” said the US State Department.
Besides Muskan from Nepal, other recipients of the award this year are Maria Kalesnikava of Belarus; Phyoe Phyoe Aung of Burma; Maximilienne C. Ng Mbe of Cameroon; Wang Yu of China; Mayerlis Angarita of Colombia; Julienne Lusenge of Democratic Republic of the Congo; Judge Erika Aifan of Guatemala; Shohreh Bayat of Iran; Zajra Mohamed Ahmad of Somalia; Sister Alicia Vacas Moro of Spain; Ranitha Gnanarajah of Sri Lanka; Canan Gullu of Turkey and Ana Rosario Contreras of Venezuela, among others.
“Muskan’s leadership was crucial in bringing about change,” said the US Embassy in Nepal. “The embassy is proud to support her and promote the advancement of women’s and girls’ rights in Nepal.”