Global Ties Arizona to honor International Women of Courage recipient

First Lady Melania Trump, on left, with L’Malouma Said. (Submitted Photo)

Global Ties Arizona will honor L’Malouma Said Tuesday, March 27 at the offices of Kyle Moyer and Company, 7525 E. Camelback Road in Scottsdale, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Mrs. Said is one of 10 2018 recipients of the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award, bestowed in Washington D.C. on March 23 by Acting Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heather Nauert and First Lady Melania Trump, a press release states.

The IWOC Award annually recognizes women from around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength and leadership in acting to improve others’ lives, according to a press release.

The awardees visit U.S. universities, businesses and non-profit organizations to share strategies and ideas to empower women around the globe. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the IWOC Award, for which over 120 women have been recognized from more than 65 countries.

Global Ties Arizona is hosting Ms. Said from Mauritania. She was born into slavery in 1972 in the far south-eastern town of Boutilmitt in Mauritania.

When she was 17 years old, she was a leading activist at her school for the emancipation of Haratines, before becoming one of only four Haratine women elected as deputy (Member of Parliament) to the Mauritanian National Assembly in 2006. In 2013, she was the president of a cooperative of women traders.

She was also an officer in charge of women within the El Hor movement (Movement for the liberation of Haratines in Mauritania) as well as a founding member of the Mauritanian anti-slavery organization S.O.S. Esclaves, which her husband Boubacar Messaoud leads.

Ms. Said is known for speaking out on human rights issues and her powerful national and international advocacy for the improvement of prisons in Mauritania.

She said she believes Mauritania’s prisoners suffer from a lack of social and educational opportunities, as well as poor safety and health conditions, leading to escape attempts and the spread of diseases among the prison population.

Ms. Said has a history of defending human rights and equality, as well as the fight against all forms of discrimination in Mauritania. She is a vocal leader on these issues within the Mauritanian Parliament.

She has proven herself to be a courageous woman with a history of commitment, determination, and perseverance in defending human rights issues during her two terms in the parliament, a release states.

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