US govt confers International Women of Courage Award on Nepal’s acid attack survivor Muskan Khatun

Muskan Khatun. Photo: US Embassy in Nepal

Kathmandu, March 5

The United States Embassy in Nepal says Nepal’s Muskan Khatun will be awarded the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award for her work to end acid attacks.

The US First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken will host a virtual event on March 8 to honour Khatun, who himself was attacked with acid in 2019. This is the 15th edition of the award conferred by the US Department of State.

“The IWOC 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,” the embassy says in a statement this morning.*

Despite the pains of the attack, Khatun turned a tragedy into an opportunity to bring about change in Nepal, the embassy says, “Facing threats and social pressure, Muskan lobbied for stronger laws and punishments for acid attacks.”

* Earlier, we had mistakenly quoted the embassy’s statement to report that previous winners of the award include Malala Yousafzai. The error is regretted. – Ed.

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