WOZA’s Jenni Williams wins Amnesty International award
The 2012 Ginetta Sagan Amnesty International USA award has been given to
WOZA founder and national coordinator Jenni Williams.
Williams becomes the second Zimbabwean woman to receive the award in four
years. Girl Child Network founder, Betty Makoni won it in 2008 for her work
in training girls to succeed in school, thrive in the home and society and
resist sexual abuse and rape.
Amnesty International says winners of the award are recognised for their
work to protect the liberty and lives of women and children in areas where
human rights violations are widespread.
The award carries a grant of $10,000 and is named after Ginetta Sagan, a
former honorary Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International
USA, who devoted her life to defending the rights of those who were unfairly
persecuted by repressive governments.
Williams will pick up the award at a ceremony in Washington, USA on
Since 2003 she has led peaceful protests involving thousands of women and
men, and they have all endured harassment, arrests and violence for
demanding social and political reforms in Zimbabwe under the brutal rule of
WOZA also encourages women and men to speak out about issues they may be too
fearful to raise alone, including domestic violence and rape.
A statement from Amnesty International said WOZA has inspired tens of
thousands of women and men to stand up for their rights to free speech and
assembly and the fulfillment of basic needs like food and education.
The statement went on to say: ‘In nearly a decade of struggle and hundreds
of protests, more than 3,000 WOZA supporters have spent time in police
custody. Williams herself has been arrested 40 times including most recently
in February during a demonstration to mark WOZA’s 10th anniversary. She has
been beaten, imprisoned without food or medical supplies and threatened with
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