CHP deputy Şafak Pavey granted secularism award of UK-based NGO
Pavey was awarded a Woman of Courage Award by the White House for her efforts to raise awareness of the plight of those with disabilities in countries where resources are limited.Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Şafak Pavey has been granted the Secularist of the Year prize given annually by a U.K.-based nongovernmental organization (NGO).
Pavey will receive her award from the National Secular Society on March 29.
“Pavey is an extraordinary woman right at the center of an enormous upheaval in Middle Eastern politics. After she receives her award on Saturday [March 29] she will be rushing back to Turkey for the regional elections that are taking place this weekend. These elections will be a significant indicator of which way the mood in Turkey is turning,” said Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society.
“The Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is showing a worrying authoritarian streak and recently tried to deflect criticism by attempting to ban Twitter. He has closed down TV channels that are critical of him and has jailed more journalists than anyone else in the world,” he added.
“But not only is Pavey at the center of this titanic struggle between secularism and authoritarian religion, she is always looking to the rights and needs of others. We are very proud to be able to honor her with this award.”
Pavey was awarded a Woman of Courage Award by the White House for her efforts to raise awareness of the plight of those with disabilities in countries where resources are limited.
She worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on humanitarian missions in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Europe and the U.S. dealing with different human displacement situations and holding various positions from managing global strategic communications to serving as regional spokesperson.
In 2010, she became the first appointed secretary to the newly established U.N. human rights secretariat at its headquarters in Geneva.
She left her position at the United Nations prior to being elected as deputy of Istanbul in June 2011.