Woman of the Year

  • In February 2020, Dr. Widad was handpicked as a Woman of the Year 2020 for her achievements and for being an inspirational woman, someone whom others look up to.
  • She was invited to a Lunch in London that was supposed to take place on October 12th.
  • Yet, due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lunch was replaced with a virtual event on November 10th.
  • The United-Kingdom-based Women of the Year celebrates extraordinary women who make a difference every day.

Press Release Issued by Defend International

Dr. Widad Honoured Woman of the Year 2020

Oslo-LondonNovember 10, 2020 – Co-founder of Defend International, Dr. Widad Akreyi, was handpicked as a Woman of the Year 2020 for her achievements and for being an inspirational international woman - someone whom others look up to.

A dynamic global icon of courage distinguished for her strong personality and high sense of duty, Dr. Widad Akreyi has a heart of compassion and an inner strength that has allowed her to persevere against all odds. In addition to her life-long commitment to social justice, she has advocated against gender-based violence, illicit arms trade and the use of rape and enslavement as weapons of war. Among her decorations are the prestigious Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, the International Woman Harmony Award, the Davenport Mayor Medal and the International Pfeffer Peace Award, along with the Prize for bridging the gap between cultures.

The Women of the Year honours and shines a light on extraordinary women from across the world by inviting them to attend a special celebratory lunch. In February 2020, chair of Women of the Year Catherine Roe invited Dr. Widad to this year's Women of the Year Lunch, saying, "To be invited is, in itself, an accolade. As someone who has been such an inspiration to others, we really do hope that you will be able to attend." Dr. Widad did accept the invitation. The Lunch was supposed to take place in London on October 12th. However, due to the restrictions imposed on holding live events as governments attempt to stem the spread of Covid-19, the Lunch was replaced with a virtual event that was held on November 10th.

An epidemiologist and author, Dr. Widad represents the symbol of hope and the moral voice of the voiceless. The Award-winning champion for peace and human rights has inspired people not only in her region of birth, Kurdistan and the Middle East, but around the globe. Among her publications are Females of Valor, Zoroastrians' Fight for Survival, and The Daughter of Kurdland: A Life Dedicated to Humankind.