Women of Change Awards

Women of Change Awards 2017

Dr. Khin Chit is the Deputy Director General of the Department of Food and Drug Administration at the Ministry of Health and Sports. “She has served with great and consistent effort in her [decades-long] career.” Her efforts have markedly improved Myanmar’s ability to control counterfeit and substandard drugs.

Daw Yi Yi Cho reviews Environmental Impact Assessment Reports for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. She played a key role in regional Mekong policy discussions which resulted in new national guidelines for public participation in Environmental Impact Assessment procedures. Her work “serves as a model for constructive government and civil society collaboration.”

Daw Mai Mai is a founding member of the Kachin Youth Organization and a key organizer of the National Ethnic Youth Alliance conference in July 2016. Daw Mai Mai leads Myanmar youth, channeling their energy and drive to learn about federalism, citizenship, and democracy. We look forward to seeing much more from her in the future.

Daw San San Maw is the Director of the Department of Disaster Management at the Myanmar Red Cross. She is a “force of nature” who has already made significant progress in connecting government, military, and civil society actors in the joint effort of humanitarian assistance.

Daw Naw Ei Ei Min is the Director of Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together which advocates for sustainable environmental and economic policies. She has played a key role in regional Mekong policy discussions, “providing a voice for Burmese women [and] ethnic minorities.”

Daw Hla Hla Yee co-founded the Legal Clinic Myanmar in 2011 to provide legal services, particularly for marginalized women. She is well known and well-regarded as an advocate for rule of law, access to justice, and human rights, and has contributed to important efforts to protect women from gender based violence.

Women of Change Awards 2018

Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) is an ethnic women’s organization of over 60,000 members supporting gender equality, indigenous people’s rights, and women’s participation in the peace process.  Today we commend the KWO for their brave stance against the violence against all civilians in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. The KWO fights for the rights of all people, not just the Karen. Among their successes are increasing women’s role in decision-making within the Karen National Union, revising domestic violence laws, and providing leadership training for young women.  Accepting on behalf of the KWO:  Naw Hser Hser and Naw Wah Khu Shee.

Dr. Thet Thet Mu is the Deputy Director General for Health Information at the Ministry of Health and Sports.  She is a champion for the use of quality health data for evidence-based policy and decision-making, a crucial component of any democracy.  She led Myanmar’s first-ever Demographic and Health Survey, and ensured that the survey represented the geographic and ethnic diversity of Myanmar.  This effort involved groundbreaking engagement in conflict-affected areas, and generated crucial data and evidence that is helping policy-makers better understand issues related to inequity in topics such as urban health access, domestic violence, nutrition, and vaccination coverage.

Daw Aye Thinzar Maung is an Executive Committee Member of the Myanmar Federation for Persons with Disabilities (MFPD) and Chairperson of their Education Committee.  In addition to raising awareness about disabilities, she advocates for government reforms to support disabled peoples’ full participation in Myanmar.  She recently played a leading role in working with the Ministry of Education to change university admissions guidelines to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to higher education.    MFPD is currently working to implement Myanmar’s 2015 Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Women of Change Awards 2019

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.