Saudi U.N. official awarded human rights prize

December 11, 2009

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Thoraya Obaid, was presented on Thursday with a human-rights award honoring her work with UNFPA. Obaid was chosen for the Louis B. Sohn Human Rights Award by the U.N. Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-UCA) for her work promoting maternal health and speaking out against discrimination and violence against women and girls.

“Thoraya Obaid has been a tireless champion of women’s human and reproductive rights. Throughout her career, she has been fearless in breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “Under her leadership, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has played a major role in promoting maternal health and women’s empowerment, and campaigns against female genital mutilation and fistula have achieved global resonance. I congratulate Thoraya Obaid, and I commend the UNA-NCA on their choice.”

During the awards ceremony, held in Washington, D.C., Obaid said, “Such an honor will only make me, and UNFPA, more committed to promoting the human rights of women and girls who still face gender discrimination and violence, to advancing their empowerment and gender equality, and to ensuring universal access to reproductive health.”

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