The U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama, with Secretary of state, John Kerry presented Joe’s award to her at a ceremony in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the US State Department.
The ceremony coincided with the International Women’s day. Joe Odumakin heads the Campaign for Democracy and has been involved with a lot of initiatives to broaden Nigeria’s democracy.
Other recipients of the award are Malalai Bahaduri, First Sergeant, Afghan National Interdiction Unit (Afghanistan); Samira Ibrahim, Coordinator, Know Your Rights (Egypt); Julieta Castellanos, Rector, National Autonomous University of Honduras (Honduras); and Elena Milashina, journalist, human rights activist (Russia).
Others include Fartuun Adan, Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre (Somalia); Tsering Woeser (Wei Se), Tibetan author, poet, blogger (China); Razan Zeitunah, human rights lawyer and founder, Local Coordination Committees (Syria); Ta Phong Tan, blogger (Vietnam); and Nirbhaya “Fearless,” champion for justice (India).
Dr. Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin
Over the past twenty years, Dr. Josephine Odumakin has handled over 2,000 cases of violations of women’s rights, including cases of extrajudicial practices committed by government security agencies against women.
These cases have included violations of women’s rights including extrajudicial killings of women by the police or their spouses, assault of women by law enforcement personnel for any pretext as well as deaths of children and women through negligence on the part of school or hospital authorities.
Dr. Odumakin leads almost every protest, march, lecture or workshop aimed at encouraging the rule of law and governing justly and democratically. Her advocacy led her to be arrested and detained seventeen times during the dictatorship of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s regime.
Dr. Odumakin is currently the Executive Director of the Institute of Human Rights and Democratic Studies; President of Women Arise for Change Initiative; Chairman, Task Force of the Citizen Forum; Spokesperson, Coalition of Civil Society Organizations; and President, Centre for Participatory Democracy.