Afghan woman entrepreneur honoured
WASHINGTON (PAN): An Afghan woman entrepreneur was honoured with the prestigious Vital Voices Award at a glittering function in Washington, attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Honored with the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award by Washington-based NGO, Vital Voices, Fatema Akbari uses her carpentry business to promote economic independence for the women in her community.
"Tonight we honour an entrepreneur from Afghanistan who provides job training for women…," Clinton said in her speech at a function held at the prestigious Kennedy Centre.
"They hail from different cultures and parts of the world. But they share important values and attributes. They each look for ways to make systemic change -- to lift the lives of thousands, even millions, of people," the secretary said.
She added they each had paid a price for their work in arrests or abuse or ridicule, insults and isolation. Their courage had inspired others to stand with them, despite the risks and the consequences, to believe in the possibility of a better future, she continued.
"And of course, they are all women. Because at a time when millions of women worldwide are still denied their rights, still excluded from the public debates in their societies, still subjected to violence inside and outside of the family, still barred from schools, courts, markets and public squares, it is even more remarkable that tonight's honourees have accomplished all that they have," Clinton remarked.
Earlier, Akbari told a news conference that she had broken the barriers of men's world by training a large number of Afghan women in carpentry.
Other awardees included the Burmese pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, Sunitha Krishnan of India, Liron Peleg-Hadomi and Noha Khatieb of Israel and Kah Walla of Cameroon.
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