The story below originally appeared on NPR on March 9th, 2016.
Khanim Latif was just about 12 years old when her father forced her 14-year-old sister into marriage. That was a moment that changed her life.
Now she runs an organization in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where she protects women and girls from honor killings and helps victims of domestic abuse.
Her group is now trying to cope with a massive influx of people fleeing ISIS. They are providing psychological care to women and girls who were held captive by the group. The U.S. has been supporting Kurdish fighters who are battling ISIS, and the U.S. is supporting groups like hers, too.
Vital Voices Global Leadership Award
Earlier this week, she received the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award at a special ceremony held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
The event was attended by hundreds of people including government officials, U.S. and international organizations with extensive media coverage.
The Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards will honor women who are engaged in the most urgent issues of our time. These leaders are responding to humanitarian crises; combating extremism; exposing corruption; rebuilding fractured communities; promoting inclusive growth; and tackling the root causes of insecurity, such as inequality, inadequate legal frameworks and gender-based violence.[To read more visit NPR here]