fc84f1ede31a82084d0f6a706700aef4Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, a prominent leader in the field of maternal health in Afghanistan, has been selected by the US for the prestigious International Women of Courage Award.

Dr. Nasrin was among the ten winners who received the award at an awards ceremony at the State department in Washington.

She is a doctor of Gynecology and Obstetrics and has been the Director of the Malalai Maternity Hospital in Kabul since 2004.

The first center for obstetric fistula repair at Malalai Maternity Hospital in Afghanistan was also founded by Dr. Nasrin.

Dr. Nasrin also provides emergency obstetric care to women, including for rural women who come to Kabul because of medical complications. She is also firmly committed to strengthening the role of women in medical professions in Afghanistan. She has increased the recognition of the essential role of midwives and supported the establishment of the Afghan Midwives Association.

She is the president of the non-governmental organization Afghan Family Health Association, which is currently implementing innovative reproductive health programs, providing a hotline for youth and shelters for women, and conducting outreach sessions in high schools to raise reproductive health awareness among students.

She is also an active member of the Afghan Women’s Network, has spoken before the Parliament many times, has presented at professional medical conferences, and is part of the working group tasked to establish a Medical Council in Afghanistan.

The other award winners for the year 2014 were Ms. Roshika Deo from Fiji, Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze from Georgia, Judge Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar from Guatemala, Laxmi from India, Ms. Fatimata Toure from Mali, Dr. Maha Al Muneef from Saudi Arabia, Ms. Oinikhol Bobonazarova from Tajikistan, Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko from Ukraine and Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa from Zimbabwe.

The annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award was established in 2007. Women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk are being honored with the award every year.

Malalai Bahaduri, First Sergeant, Afghan National Interdiction Unit, received the Women of Courage Award from Afghanistan last year.

She was recognized as a courageous and brave woman since she was the first female Sergeant of the Afghan National Interdiction Unit for her services to empower law to fight against the opium and drugs in Afghanistan.