Feride Rushiti awarded “International Women of Courage” prize by the U.S. Department of State

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Feride Rushiti of Kosovo is the founder and executive director of the Kosovo Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, whose activism led to a landmark government ruling on awarding pensions to victims of Kosovo wartime sexual violence.

“This Women of Courage award is an honor for me but, at the same time, I believe it has honored and respected the more than 20,000 other women who were victims of sexual violence during [the 1998-99] wartime in Kosovo,” Rushiti told RFE/RL.

“This award has made them stronger, so they can challenge the prejudices that still exist in Kosovo…Above all, we believe these victims still need continuous support in the rehabilitation and [in the search for] justice,” she said.

The other seven are Aura Elena Farfan of Guatemala, Julissa Villanueva of Honduras, Aliyah Khalaf Saleh of Iraq, Maria Elena Berini of Italy, L’Malouma Said of Mauritania, Godelive Mukasarasi of Rwanda, and Sirikan Charoensiri of Thailand.