News

Americans for UNFPA Honours those Who Promote the Rights of Women and Girls

7 October 2011
Author: UNFPA
UNFPA Executive Director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin with the two honourees, Juliana Konteh, left, and Savithiri Wijesekera, of Sri Lanka.

NEW YORK — Women from Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone and the United States were honoured last night by Americans for UNFPA for their commitment to promoting women’s health and elevating the status of women. The 2011 Americans for UNFPA Award for the Health and Dignity of Women shines a light on the opportunities and challenges of the world’s population reaching seven billion people, said Valerie DeFillipo, the new president of Americans for UNFPA.

“These outstanding women chose to improve lives and serve as a beacon of light for others,” she added. “Their stories have the power to resonate with each of us, reminding us that promoting the health and rights of women is a shared responsibility and a common goal.”

In the presence of 350 business leaders, dignitaries, activists and celebrities the 2011 Americans for UNFPA Award for the Health and Dignity of Women were presented to:

  • Juliana Konteh, Executive Director, Women in Crisis Movement (WICM) of Sierra Leone, for her devotion to rebuilding the broken lives of women and girls affected by war. Together with faith-based partnerships, Ms. Konteh promotes the health, dignity and economic empowerment of women in Sierra Leone.
  • Savithri Wijesekera, Executive Director, Women In Need (WIN) of Sri Lanka, for addressing gender-based violence in Sri Lanka through counseling, shelter and a helpline, as well as, equal access to justice with free legal services and legal advice to victims. Ms. Wijesekera further protects women by increasing awareness and transforming attitudes among all stakeholders, particularly men and boys.
  • Lisa Caputo, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Communications, The Travelers Companies, Inc. for her career-long commitment to helping women build their financial knowledge and create financial strategies through access to financial education, resources and financially-minded women.
  • Terrie Curran, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Women’s Health, Merck & Co., Inc. for her commitment to expanding access to reproductive health care worldwide.

Americans for UNFPA is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness and support within the United States for UNFPA and its life saving work in over 150 countries around the world. UNFPA promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.
 

Sri Lanka
Population : 21 mil
Fertility rate
2
Maternal Mortality Ratio
30
Contraceptives prevalence rate
65
Population aged 10-24
23%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 84%
Girls 87%