We are pleased to announce our 2013 honorees!
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
A leading feminist in Congress, and a trailblazer in the fight to create an AIDS-free generation, Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a critical voice for the world's women and girls, who remain disproportionately affected by the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Congresswoman Lee has co-authored numerous pieces of HIV/AIDS related legislation, including the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and The Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women and Youth Act.
Through her writings, advocacy, and volunteerism, author and activist Cheryl Saban has brought critically needed visibility to the importance of universal and comprehensive healthcare, education, and human rights for all women and children. In 2012 President Barack Obama appointed Saban to be the U.S. representative to the U.N. General Assembly and to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in 2013. Saban is also the founder of the Women's Self Worth Foundation that provides grants to organizations with the goal of empowering and advancing of women.
The first woman in her Kenyan village to leave and attend college in the United States, Kakenya Ntaiya has become a tireless advocate for the education and empowerment of girls. In 2009 she returned to Kenya to establish The Kakenya Center for Excellence, the first primary school for girls in her home village of Enoosaen. In 2010 National Geographic honored Ntaiya as an Emerging Explorer for her work to better the lives of Maasai girls in Kenya.
As Afghanistan's first woman rapper, Soosan Firooz is making history speaking out against the injustices faced by women and girls in Afghanistan, including violence against women and children. Through her brave music Firooz has brought attention to the need for peace-building in Afghanistan. Her work has been featured in numerous international news outlets, including BBC and CBS.