“We fight, we mobilize, we challenge,” Dr. Ranjana Kumari pledged during her acceptance speech at the Fifth Annual Lotus Leadership Awards in New York City on the 3rd June 2015.
Each year, The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle nominates a handful of outstanding individuals and organizations that have made major contributions to the wellbeing of women and society in Asia for their Lotus Leadership Awards. This year, The Fifth Annual Lotus Leadership Award has been given to our director, Dr. Ranjana Kumari. The award serves as recognition of her tireless promotion of women’s political participation, combating of domestic violence, and advocacy for gender equality as a leader on the forefront of the women’s movement in India. Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn (co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide) was awarded together with Dr. Ranjana Kumari.
“The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program identifies change agents, and Ms. WuDunn and Ms. Kumari have transformed attitudes and communities around the world. We are honored to recognize their achievements with the Lotus Leadership Awards as we continue to Tell Her She Can, our global awareness and philanthropy campaign and message to women and girls,” said Ms. Yost
Past Honorees of the Lotus Leadership Awards include Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Ms. Nani Zulminarni (National Coordinator of PEKKA or “Women-Headed Household Empowerment), The Honorable Sapana Pradhan Malla (lawyer, advocate of Nepal’s Supreme Court), Mr. Chong Moon Lee (prominent Asian American philanthropist), Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (Founder and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning), Dr. David Ho (Aids Researcher).
The event was a great success as it brought together many advocates and philanthropists who were encouraged to continue their crucial efforts for the empowerment of women and girls all accross Asia. At the end, Dr. Ranjana Kumari said: “The Lotus Circle Award moments bring back the memories of the long struggle women fought to get justice, equality and dignity”.
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