Letter From the Ambassador
In honor of Women’s History Month celebrated in March each year, I would like to share an excerpt of my speech honoring Ms. Cherifa Kheddar , the 2019 Algerian Women of Courage Award winner—an annual award bestowed upon a woman who has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in acting to improve society and defend the rights of others:
“As one of Algeria’s leading human rights activists, Ms. Cherifa Kheddar has given a voice to the voiceless for over 22 years.
In 1996, despite continuous threats of violence to her family and herself, Ms. Kheddar founded Djzairouna (Our Algeria), an organization that continues to to provide psychological and social support to families of those killed by extremists during the Algerian civil war.
When asked what a truly peaceful world looks like to her, Ms. Kheddar replied, “A truly peaceful world is one that respects fundamental human rights and gender equality above everything else, rather than using the pretexts of culture and cults to justify the repression of women and minorities.”
U.S. Embassy Algiers has been lucky enough to help Ms. Khaddar in her mission by funding her project entitled, “Hands off My Rights” in 2012 and 2015 through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
This initiative provided professional training for women on defending their rights, and civil society training regarding national, regional, and international mechanisms for the protection and defense of women’s rights.
We are very proud to continue our partnership with Ms. Khaddar by honoring her with the 2019 “Algerian Woman of Courage” award. “