USA: The Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards Winners Announced
In this photo: Honouree Mariane Pearl, the journalist whose husband, Danny Pearl from the Wall Street Journal was killed by terrorists in Pakistan. Today, Mariane is "one of our most powerful voices for peace and reconciliation". She was recently played byAngelina Jolie in "A Mighty Heart". For the full list of really quite amazing honourees, keep reading - you really will feel all good about life.
Kakenya Ntaiya, Kenya - Kakenya has lived a remarkable life. She was engaged at 5, and should have been circumcised in her teens, but she managed to negotiate her way out of her village and into a college in America. She now travels around the world as a passionate advocate for girls' education, which she sees as a crucial tool for fighting the practices of female genital mutilation and child marriage.
Sheikha Lubna al-Qasimi, United Arab Emirates - the first woman to hold a cabinet position in the history of the UAE--and the first female finance minister in the history of the Middle East.. Sheika Lubna was already a successful company CEO, and she has inspired women in the Middle East, and has become a loved and respected role model for both men and women in Dubai.
Laura Alonso, Argentina - " one of Latin America's most prominent activists for open, accountable government". Alonso has chosen to campaign against corruption in spite of the risks involved, and is now the executive director of Poder Ciudadano (Citizen Power), a government watchdog organization.
Khin Ohmar, Burma. Ohmar is an activist who has campaigned for democracy in Burma. She "serves as the chair of the Network for Democracy and Development (Burma), vice-chair of Burmese Women's Union and policy forum member of Forum for Democracy in Burma--an umbrella organization of Burmese political groups in exile." She is also a founding member of the Women's League of Burma. In 1995, she testified before the U.S. Senate, "describing the terrifying scenes that she witnessed as a teenager".
Charm Tong - "In 1999, when Charm Tong was 17, she stood before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and described what was happening in her home country." Not just remarkable for her age, this act was also remarkable because she gave her speech in front of representatives of Burma and the military regime she was there to criticise. She co-founded SWAN, the Shan Women's Action Network, which has publicised the use of rape by the Burmese military a weapon of war.
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