2021 International Women of Courage

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Nigel Short
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2021 International Women of Courage

Post by Nigel Short » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:01 pm

The ECF's own Shohreh Bayat is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the "2021 International Women of Courage" award (https://www.state.gov/2021-internationa ... announced/). The ceremony will be hosted on Monday 8th March by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, with a contribution from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

Matthew Turner
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by Matthew Turner » Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:01 pm

That is a hell of an achievement. Well done, Shohreh.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:29 pm

"That is a hell of an achievement. Well done, Shohreh."

Agreed - and the other recipients as well.

John Foley
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by John Foley » Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:07 pm

Excellent recognition from the USA. Has the UK government made any such awards?

J T Melsom
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:29 pm

I'm not sure that the UK needs to go down this path. Any particular reason? I did look at last years list of awards to see if the change of administration might have made a noticeable difference. To somebody untrained in the international politics, there seemed to be very little difference. The former administration might not have been as keen on some of the causes pushed by these activists, but the award clearly recognises the courage and personal sacrifice in doing so.

David Sedgwick
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:59 am

Nigel, thank you for starting this thread and for alerting the ECF Office.

Twitter Threads:

Nigel Short: https://twitter.com/nigelshortchess/sta ... 3842233344
Malcolm Pein: https://twitter.com/TelegraphChess/stat ... 5633647619
FIDE: https://twitter.com/FIDE_chess/status/1 ... 5437170691

In normal circumstances I would now have been at the RAC Club preparing for the start of this year's Varsity Match. At last year's match I made my own tribute to Shohreh Bayat. This thread isn't about me, but for anyone interested the link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ5GWIC1vZs.

J T Melsom wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:29 pm
I'm not sure that the UK needs to go down this path. Any particular reason? I did look at last years list of awards to see if the change of administration might have made a noticeable difference. To somebody untrained in the international politics, there seemed to be very little difference. The former administration might not have been as keen on some of the causes pushed by these activists, but the award clearly recognises the courage and personal sacrifice in doing so.
I agree with Jonathan. The USA seems to be doing this sufficiently well that there is no need for the UK to copy it.

Coincidence maybe, but I did notice a wider geographical distribution amongst this year's recipients. Last year two-thirds of the recipients were from Asia. This year there are five from Asia and three each from Africa, the Americas and Europe (if you count Turkey as European).

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:29 pm
Well done ... the other recipients as well.
David Sedgwick (on Twitter) wrote: I found reading about the experiences of some of the other women to be frightening and humbling, but also empowering.
One of the benefits of the Award is that, if you happen to know one of the recipients, you learn about the others. To the best of my recollection, until yesterday I had not heard of the Award, nor of any of this year's or last year's recipients other than Shohreh. I am now better informed.

David Sedgwick
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:20 pm

Amongst the recipients of the Award is Maria Kalesnikava of Belarus, one of a number of determined women who have led the fight against the dictator Lukashenko either from within the country or from exile.

They include Anastasia Sorokina, President of the Belarus Chess Federation, who is known here as the Chief Arbiter of the London Chess Classic in 2018 and 2019. See viewtopic.php?f=36&t=10985.

Monday 8th March is International Women's Day, which I imagine is why is has been chosen for the day of the Awards Ceremony. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarus opposition leader, has called for the international community to express support for Belarusian women on that day.

David Sedgwick
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:29 pm

Most of us have attended chess congresses where the opening and closing ceremonies are marked by repetitive speeches which meander on interminably.

This ceremony, although lengthy, was very different.

Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N2X98UaLus. You have to scroll forward some distance to reach the start.

I was particularly struck not by the twelve recipients who attended the virtual proceedings but by the nine who could not.

Maria Kalesnikava, whom I mentioned in my previous post, is in a Belarusian prison cell.

Wang Yu of China seems to have disappeared during the few days since the Awards were announced.

Seven Afghan women have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mick Norris
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Re: 2021 International Women of Courage

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:23 am

Norway chess interview with female arbiters Shohreh Bayat, Anastasia Sorokina and Anemone Kulczak
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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