YANGON – The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce the two recipients of the annual U.S. Embassy Women of Change Award. U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel will present the awards today in a ceremony for friends, family, and colleagues of the recipients. The U.S. Embassy’s Women of Change award recognizes women whose work advances the rights of all people in Myanmar and demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the role of women in public life in this country.
The Women of Change Award is one way that the United States recognizes the incredible work that so many women in Myanmar do to advance greater peace, democracy, and prosperity for all. “This year’s recipients have taken risks to do what was right, demonstrated a commitment to justice, even if that commitment exposed them to criticisms or personal risk,” Ambassador Marciel said.
The 2019 recipients:
Nang Pu: She is Founder and Director of the Htoi Gender and Development Foundation, located in Myitkyina, Kachin State. Nang Pu is currently serving a six-month prison sentence along with colleagues Lum Zawng and Zau Jat, charged with defaming the Myanmar military under Section 500 of the Penal Code. Nang Pu and her colleagues were leading a peaceful sit-in seeking the rescue of thousands of internally-displaced persons trapped by the armed conflict in Kachin State. Nang Pu also founded Kachin State Women’s Network, promoting women’s full participation in the peace process. Nang Pu’s father, U N Bau Naw, will receive the award on behalf of his daughter.
Soe San Htike: An investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker, and co-founder of Myanmar Women’s Journalists Society, Soe San Htike is a champion for women’s rights in the media sector. By elevating issues of everyday discrimination for persons with disabilities, women in non-traditional work sectors, and the urban poor, her work has inspired direct policy changes to enable greater social inclusion for marginalized groups. Her documentary on discrimination against people with disabilities led to banks changing their policies and instituting training for staff to allow persons with disabilities to use retail banks.
The U.S. Embassy first presented the Women of Change award in 2017. Ten women leaders from Myanmar, plus one women’s organization, have received the award. The United States supports women leaders across many sectors in Myanmar, including dozens of grants to women-led civil society organizations as part of our support for greater peace and prosperity in Myanmar.