Liberian Female Activist, 11 Others Received Int’l Award -For Advocacy In Human Rights, Gender Equity And Equality And Peace

A Liberian female activist, Facia Boyennoh Harris and 11 others from selected countries around the world were on Monday, March 14, 2022, honored with the US Secretary of State International Women of Courage Awards for their demonstrated extraordinary courage, strength and leadership in improving the lives of others and their communities.

According to information on the website of the United States State Department, the award which was established in 2007, and now in its 16th year, the Secretary of State’s International Women Of Courage Award recognizes women from around the world who have work exceptionally in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity, and more, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. It has honored 170 women from 80 countries around the world.

In a typical year, IWOC awardees are invited to Washington DC to receive their awards from the Secretary of State and the First Lady in a ceremony held on or in proximity to international women’s day (March 8th}. The recipients then travel across the United States to participate in specially designed International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP) experiences. Their IVLP visits culminate with a dinner hosted by American Women for International Understanding (AWIU) who also provides the awardees with special grants to continue their work at home.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s award ceremony, IVLP and AWIU celebration are taking place virtually.

A brief information about Miss Harris says she is a lifelong advocate for women’s rights in Liberia, protects school-age girls from sexual harassment and increases their educational opportunities and that she co-founded the Paramount Young Women Initiative and coordinates with other groups addressing issues ranging from political participation and sanitation to sexual violence

Receiving the good news for her feat, Miss Harris took to her social media page and wrote

“Humbled to have been named among the US State Department’s recipients of the 2022 International Women of Courage Award. I am overwhelmed. When I set out on this journey, I did not envisage any recognition of sort – it was a work propelled purely from my heart; being passionate about women’s rights and feeling the pain of each victim and survivor of sexual exploitation and abuse. Nothing has changed.

And so while my name is in the lights, I dedicate this recognition and award to the many heroines who have walked this path before me – dead and alive, seen and unseen.

I do hope also it inspires my sisters and the younger women with whom we walk this path.

Let me also use this opportunity to remember the many victims of all forms of injustices and sexual and gender based violence, especially rape. It is in their names and an honor to Liberian Women work that I accept this award.

May our leaders be awakened to the scourge that affects women and girls and understand that gender equality and safe spaces for all is good for everyone.

Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”

Other ladies honored were Roegchanda Pascoe, of South Africa, Ei Thinzar Maung, of Burma, Phạm Đoan Trang, Vietnam, Doina Gherman,(Moldova), Carmen Gheorghe (Romania) Taif Sami Mohammed, (Iraq) Najla Mangoush (Libya) Rizwana Hasan,(Bangladesh), Bhumika Shrestha, (Nepal), Simone Sibilio do Nascimento(Brazil) and, Josefina Klinger Zúñiga(Colombia).

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