Syeda Rizwana Hasan of Bangladesh was honoured with the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award in 2022 for her exceptional courage and leadership in her mission to protect the environment and defend the dignity and rights of marginalised Bangladeshis.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 IWOC award ceremony and International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) were hosted online.

So, this year, Rizwana, chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association and Supreme Court lawyer, and other awardees headed to Washington DC, reports news agency UNB.

The annual IWOC Award recognises women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.

Since 2007, the US Department of State has recognised more than 180 women from more than 80 countries.

The US diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries and finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.