Women peace activists in Asia take center stage at UNDP gala award event

22 Oct 2013

UNDP honored eight Asian peace activists from conflict countries at its third annual N-Peace awards ceremony that was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 22 October.

The N-Peace Awards spotlight women who demonstrate leadership in building peace, and men who work with women for gender equality. This high-level event concluded an annual regional campaign promoting over 90 peace advocates in Asia, whose personal stories inspired over 70,000 online supporters.

Each of the winners has influenced peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste.

“The N-Peace awards show that women have the ability to lead and bring peace to  communities,” said Timor-Leste award winner, Magdalena Soares, who was a guerrilla fighter for independence and is now a peace advocate.

“Women are more than half of the population. We cannot simply ignore the potential of women in conflict resolution,” said Suprayoga Hadi, the Indonesian winner of the Male Champion of Gender Equality award.

Veronica Pedrosa, a prize-winning journalist and Al Jazeera broadcaster, was the Master of Ceremonies at the N-Peace Awards. The event included a live debate and discussion on advancing Asian women’s role in conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, with leading activists and experts from Myanmar, Pakistan and India. Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and prominent champion of women's leadership for peace also be spoke at the forum.

This year the leading N-Peace awards category, Role Models for Peace, recognized:

  • Masuada Karokhi (Afghanistan) A Member of Parliament and staunch women’s rights campaigner
  • Irene Santiago (The Philippines) A pioneering women’s rights advocate and peace maker
  • Shashi Kumary Adhikary (Nepal) A devoted women’s rights activist and lawyer
  • Thavachsri Charles Vijayaratnam (Sri Lanka) A grassroots social worker improving women’s lives
  • Magdalena Bidau Soares (Timor-Leste) A guerrilla fighter for independence turned peace advocate
  • Valentina Sagala (Indonesia) A women’s rights defender advancing laws against Gender Based Violence

Two special categories recognizing Male Advocates of Gender Equality and the next generation of Emerging Peace Champions were awarded to Suprayoga Hadi (Indonesia), Deputy Minister and champion of women’s voices for peace building in Indonesia, and Rohaniza Usman (The Philippines) a youth peace leader in Mindanao.

View short videos about the N-Peace Awardees.

N-Peace (Engage for Peace, Equality, Access, Community and Empowerment) is a multi-country initiative managed by UNDP, in partnership with Search for Common Ground, the Institute for Inclusive Security and supported by AusAID.

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