Yesterday, while the rest of the world was still obsessing/dissenting over Zach Snyder’s film adaptation of Alan Moore’s the Watchmen (I probably shouldn’t have mentioned Moore there, since he doesn’t want to be associated with the project), and it’s associated heroines (see above) – though people seem more concerned with Dr. Manhattan, and his “giant blue wiener” – Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton (who I personally hope will be pairing up for more projects in the future) were recognizing some real-life female superheroes. The first lady and Secretary of state co-hosted the Secretary of State’s 2009 International Women of Courage Awards. Here’s a smattering of the admirable ladies who were honored:
Ms. Suaad Allami (Iraq)
A prominent lawyer, Suaad Allami fights against the erosion of women’s rights and defends the most disadvantaged. She founded the NGO Women for Progress and the Sadr City Women’s Center, which offers free medical care, literacy education, vocational training, and legislative advocacy. She has accepted a Humphrey Fellowship from the State Department for academic year 2009-2010.
Ms. Hadizatou Mani (Niger)
Sold to a “master” at the age of 12 for the equivalent of $500, Hadizatou Mani persevered in gaining her freedom and helped pave the way for others trapped in similar circumstances to seek justice. Through her valiant efforts, persistence, and refusal to succumb to social pressure to abandon her case, she won a historic, precedent-setting decision in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice that condemned her enslavement.
Ms. Reem Al Numery (Yemen)
When she was 12, Reem Al Numery had her childhood cut short when she was forced to marry her 30-year -old cousin. She has emerged as a strong and brave voice on behalf of other girls facing a similar fate. Her courage has inspired a widespread drive against child marriages in Yemen.
Kind of makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. Read the full list of award recipients here.