The Executive Director of AIDS Law Project, Jacinta Nyachae is the recipient of the Mary Robinson Award for Young Women’s Leadership in Human Rights.
The first Mary Robinson Awards for Young Women’s Leadership in Human Rights was launched on 12th July 2011, during the opening the 4th International Women’s Summit organized by the World Young Women’s Christian Association – World YWCA. Four awardees were selected among more than 70 nominations by an international review panel .The award ceremony was opened by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA. Mary Robinson gave a keynote speech to present the awards and emphasized the critical work that the recipients are doing in human rights. Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro and Susan Brennan, President of the World YWCA, were also present to welcome the awardees as they received their prizes.
In her opening speech, Ms. Robinson discussed the need for further advocacy on untapped potential of young girls and women. She further stressed on the need for both broad alliances and work within local communities. “The most effective way to bring about the change we need is to empower girls themselves, but they need examples to follow, they need young women leaders to stand up and have their voices heard,” said Robinson.
Awards were given in three categories: a young woman human rights activist from the YWCA movement, a young woman human rights activist from the broader community, and a YWCA that demonstrated exemplary leadership in the area of human rights. Nominees were judged on impact, community empowerment, innovation, human rights focus, adaptability, motivation, and partnership with others.
Ms. Nyachae has demonstrated relentless dedication to the legal protection, education promotion of health rights of people living with HIV and AIDS. In 2007, she co – founded the AIDS Law Project (ALP), which addresses the gap in provision of legal services to people living with HIV. ALP is involved in promotion and protection of health rights through use of legal strategies including legal aid, public interest litigation and research and advocacy on HIV and Human rights issues. Ms. Nyachae gave an inspiring and moving acceptance speech saying, “I still believe in human rights.” (See full acceptance speech).
The other awardees included Nancy Kapembwa, from the YWCA of Zambia. A joint award to the YWCA of Belize and YWCA Canada.
Congratulations to all the awardees!