• Sima Samar wins "Alternative Nobel Prize"

Sima Samar wins "Alternative Nobel Prize"

02 October 2012

Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar has won the prestigious Right Livelihood Award- often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize".

Samar, a medical doctor, former minister and currently head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission ( AIHRC) is one of four people to receive the award for 2012.

She was nominated "for her longstanding and courageous dedication to human rights, especially the rights of women, in one of the most complex and dangerous regions of the world". 

In 1989 Sima Samar set up the Shuhada Organization, which runs clinics, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan, as well as shelters for vulnerable women.  Over the decades, its health programmes have benefitted more than three million people.

After the fall of the Taliban she became Afghanistan's first-ever Minister of Women's Affairs, before moving on to chair the AIHRC.

The Right Livelihood Awards were introduced "to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today".  They were established in 1980 by a German- Swedish philanthropist, Jakob von Uexkull, after the Nobel Foundation rejected his suggestion that it introduce new awards for environment and human development. 

The award will be presented in the Swedish Parliament in December.

Photo credit: Shuhada Organization

For more information see http://www.rightlivelihood.org/