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Zimbabwean woman receives US award

by Staff reporter
07 Mar 2020 at 06:53hrs | Views
Melania Trump (right) Rita Nyampinga (centre) Michael Pompey (Left)
ZIMBABWEAN human rights defender and founder of Female Prisoners Support Trust Rita Nyampinga was on Wednesday recognised as one of 12 International Woman of Courage (IWOC) Award winners for 2020 by the United States of America government ahead of International Women's Day on Sunday.

The International Women of Courage Award also referred to as the US Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award, is an American award presented annually by the United States Department of State to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women's rights.

Nyampinga was honoured by the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in Washington DC where First Lady Melania Trump was guest of honour.

The citation for Nyampinga read out by Kelley Eckels Currie, who oversees the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the US Department of State, praised her for her work in defence of women in detention.

"A steadfast human rights defender and activist, Rita is being honoured for her protection of and respect for the rights of prisoners, especially women in detention, and for fighting for a fair and just legal system in Zimbabwe," read part of the detention.

In a telephone interview with the Daily News from Washington yesterday, Nyampinga said the award was a milestone for Zimbabwe as the honour places the country on the global map as far as human rights are concerned.

"When we speak of human rights it should not only be limited to political rights, but should also stretch to civil, economic and social rights as well. As Zimbabwe we are working towards achieving these rights.

"The award shows that Zimbabwe is in the spotlight and can work as one unit to achieve a common goal," Nyampinga said.

The Female Prisoners Support Trust founder has been spearheading different rehabilitation programmes for female prisoners and ex-convicts in the country, while pushing for social, gender and economic justice.
She has facilitated rehabilitation of over 300 ex-convicts to date.

Speaking during the awards ceremony, Melania Trump praised Nyampinga and the other winners for often risking their safety to help others, adding that they were the faces of true heroism.

"It is an honour to be here again to celebrate these inspiring women and the incredible impacts they are making through the work they have dedicated themselves to all over the world," Trump said.
Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the Department of State has recognised 146 women from 77 countries.
The women honoured alongside Nyampinga hail from Malaysia, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijian, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.

Source - dailynews