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PSI President and CEO, Karl Hofmann and Women Deliver President, Jill Sheffield were joined by guests of honor Global Health Corps CEO and co-founder Barbara P. Bush, and singer-songwriter, actress and PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore on Wednesday to present awards to four visionaries in girls’ and women’s health at the Impact Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
The second annual Impact Awards, hosted by leading international NGOs Population Services International (PSI) and Women Deliver, recognized the exceptional leadership and determination of these four recipients in the field of girls and women’s health. Recipients of the Impact Award were chosen by the editors of PSI’s flagship publication, Impact Magazine, and Women Deliver. The ceremony coincided with the Women Deliver 2013 Conference, which has brought thousands of experts and advocates to Malaysia. The conference was the largest of the decade focused on girls’ and women’s health and rights, bringing together more than 4,500 leaders and advocates representing over 2,200 organizations and 149 countries.
“It’s fitting in a week of discussion on how we can meet the challenges facing girls and women around the world – that we stop and recognize people who have shown extraordinary leadership,” said Jill Sheffield. Fellow host Mandy Moore commended the award recipients citing their dedication to this movement and their recognition of “the urgent need for increased investment and greater political will to advance the health and rights for girls and women worldwide.”
The 2013 Impact Award Honorees include:
• Dr. Fred Sai is a Ghanaian family health physician and an internationally recognized gender and reproductive health advocate. He has held numerous important medical posts in Ghana; and has been nutrition adviser to the FAO; a coordinator for the World Hunger Programme of the UN University; and a Senior Population Advisor to the World Bank.
• Mu Sochua is considered one of the most prominent women in Cambodia’s leading political opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party. She has been a leading human rights advocate for 25 years, working tirelessly to prioritize women’s issues in the wake of Cambodia’s decades of tragedy.
• Dr. Beverly Winikoff is the President of Gynuity Health Projects, which works globally to ensure that reproductive health technologies are widely available to people everywhere. For more than two decades she served as Director for Reproductive Health and a Senior Medical Associate at the Population Council.
• Cecilia Garcia Ruiz is a Mexican activist who has been working since 2006 to promote and defend the rights of young people. As the current Gender Projects Coordinator of Espolea, a Mexican youth-led organization, Cecilia promotes young people’s sexual and reproductive rights, fosters young women’s empowerment and works to prevent gender-based violence.
The night was a celebration of the achievements of the recipients, who shared with the audience their motivation for their work. "I saw what women went through with pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing. You saw people getting pregnant, going to the hospital and coming back either happy and smiling with these mewling babies in their arms or with tears in their eyes, and sometimes they themselves never came back," said recipient Fred Sai.
“We are at a historic moment in girls and women’s health,” Editor-in-Chief of Impact Magazine, Marshall Stowell. “These Impact Award recipients embody the incredible work being done for girls and women around the world, but we know there is a long way to go. We look forward to using this momentum to encourage innovative thinking and create catalytic, game-changing solutions for girls and women worldwide.”
The ceremony concluded with a surprise award for Jill Sheffield in recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of women and girls worldwide. “Throughout her career, Jill has been a steadfast advocate for girls and women. There is no one more deserving of Jill to receive this honor,” said Karl Hofmann.
PSI is a global health organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV/AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. http://www.psi.org/
About Impact Magazine
Impact is the quarterly magazine of PSI, sent to donors, stakeholders, and PSI staff in more than 65 countries around the world. Impact is a platform to discuss critical issues facing the global health community. http://psiimpact.com/