This article was posted on Ekurd Daily on February 24, 2016.

Iraqi Kurdish Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil. Photo:

Iraqi Kurdish Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil. Photo:

GENEVA,— Iraqi Kurdish Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil has won the International Women’s Rights Award 2016 for her outstanding efforts to protect women’s rights.

A global coalition of 25 human rights organizations announced Tuesday that one of the world’s most prestigious international women’s rights awards will go this year to Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament, and to German psychologist Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, for their “extraordinary and inspiring” work to rescue Yazidi and other women enslaved, assaulted, and sexually abused by Islamic State group (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

The statement said Both laureates will personally receive the 2016 Geneva Summit’s International Women’s Rights Award at a major ceremony to take place this Tuesday, February 23, 2016, where they will address UN diplomats, several hundred human rights activists, and journalists from around the world attending the 8th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

Dakhil broke into tears during a parliament session in August 2014 while describing the plight of her fellow Yazidi Kurds during the onslaught by IS in northern Iraq.

Dakhil’s impassioned plea made the world sit up and take notice, and was instrumental in President Obama’s decision to order airdrops of urgent supplies and airstrikes against IS.

Due to her tireless work to provide solace for and rebuild the shattered lives of traumatized IS escapees, she is today at the top of IS’s hit list.

“I am honored to have been selected for this prestigious award on behalf of all women victims of IS,” said Dakhil.

“The Yazidi community has been victimized by IS, especially the women and girls. The world needs to do more to release the girls in IS captivity and protect the human rights of all the people under IS control.”

Islamic State group (IS) has extended its control on most parts of Sinjar (Shingal) district in northwest Iraq on August 3, 2014 which led thousands of Kurdish families to flee to Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped in it and suffered from significant lack of water and food, killing and abduction of thousands of Yazidis as well as rape and captivity of thousands of women.

Some 50,000 Yazidis scrambled up Mount Sinjar to escape the IS onslaught. About 5,000 men and boys in Sinjar and nearby villages were massacred.

According to Human Rights organizations, thousands of Yazidi Kurdish women and girls have been forced to marry or been sold into sexual slavery by the IS jihadists.

The United Nations in November 2015 described the attack on the Yazidis as a possible genocide.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Dec 29, 2015 she now believes the Islamic State group’s persecution of the Kurdish Yazidi minority and other religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East should be defined as “genocide.”

EU parliament recognizes Islamic State killing of Yazidi Kurds as genocide on Feb. 4, 2016. The European Parliament unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the Islamic State militant group’s (IS) systematic killing and persecution of Iraq’s Yazidi Kurds, Christians, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria as a genocide.