Karen Women Leader Honored With the 2019 US International Women of Courage Award

Naw K’Nyaw Paw, general secretary of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) has been declared as one of 10 recipients of the 2019 International Women of Courage Award.

On March 7, Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State hosted the Awards at the U.S. Department of State office to honor the 10 winners.

The KWO, as an organization received the 2018 ‘Women of Change Award’ from the U.S. Embassy in Burma on March 22, 2018.

A US State Department media release stated that the award now in its 13th year the IWCA honors “women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.”

Naw Tamala Saw, joint secretary of the KWO said Naw K’Nyaw Paw received the award for KWO works.

“The U.S embassy in Burma made the nomination based on the work we, KWO, do on gender equality, human rights and our position on the peace process.”

One of the key points made about Naw K’Nyaw Paw’s in the U.S Department of State’s media release was that “in 2017, under her leadership, the KWO was the first, and one of the few, in Burma to publicly condemn the military-led violence against the Rohingya people.”

Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.

Previously, two women from Burma who work on issues about gender equality, democracy and former political prisoners received the IWOC Award in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

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