Press Release

Brazilian Social Scientist, Polish NGO Win 2016 UN Population Award

27 April 2016

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Carmen Barroso, a Brazilian social scientist with long commitment to population causes, and the Childbirth in Dignity Foundation, a Polish organization promoting improved quality of care for Polish mothers and newborns, have won the 2016 United Nations Population Award. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in the fields of population and health.

Ms. Barroso’s contributions to population questions and their solutions had a great impact through her leadership of major organizations, according to documents submitted to the Population Award Committee. In Brazil, she was a pioneer in gender studies while working at the Chagas Foundation and teaching at the University of  São Paulo. She published extensively in academic and popular media and served on many boards and international commissions. After directing the Reproductive Health and Population Programme at the MacArthur Foundation, she became Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region, in New York.

Ms. Barroso was a member of the Commission on Reproductive Health of the Brazilian government, a pioneer effort for engaging multiple stakeholders in accountability for women’s health policies. She is currently a member of the Independent Accountability Panel on the Global Strategy on Women, Children and Adolescents Health, which was formed by the United Nations Secretary-General in February 2016.

A strong supporter of the rights of women and the newborn for almost two decades, according to submissions to the Award Committee, the Childbirth with Dignity Foundation has helped improve the treatment of women in hospitals in Poland. Operating through campaigns and other advocacy efforts, the Foundation has empowered women to demand their patients’ rights in relation to childbirth. The Foundation was awarded the Japanese Sasakawa Health Prize for a special contribution to improving the quality of perinatal care and raising women's awareness of their rights.

The Committee for the United Nations Population Award, which selects the awardees, is chaired by Paraguay, and includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, Iran, Israel and Poland.

Past laureates selected by the Committee included individuals and organizations, such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Dr. Allan Rosenfield, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Population Council. The award is scheduled to be presented at the United Nations on 23 June.

For more information, please contact:
Omar Gharzeddine:  Tel:  +1 212 297 5018; gharzeddine@unfpa.org