News

Former UNFPA Executive Director Receives the Prestigious Union Medal

12 May 2011
Author: UNFPA

On May 9, UNFPA's former Executive Director, Ms. Thoraya A. Obaid, was awarded the Union Medal by Union Theological Seminary, making her the first Muslim - and the first Muslim woman - to receive it. The Union Medal, the Seminary's highest award, was instituted in 1981 as a means of honouring persons whose lives reflect the mission of the Seminary in the world. Recent medalists include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, William Sloane Coffin, Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Bill and Judith Moyers, and Anne Hale Johnson.

In their introduction, Union Theological Seminary's President, Ms. Serene Jones, and the Dean, Ms. Daisy Machado, noted Ms. Obaid's "focus on a culturally sensitive approach to development work, linking gender, universal values of human rights and values of the human worth promoted by all religions and found in all cultures". They praised her 'vision' and 'courage' to ensure that women's health was addressed from within the complex - and necessary - framework of human rights, gender equality and cultural sensitivity.

Fellow awardee this year was Mr. Dan Pellegrom, who served as President of Pathfinder International for 26 years.

Related content

Press
<p>UNITED NATIONS, New York – The theme of this year’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, “Tracking Fistula – Transforming Lives,” reflects an important step forward in eradicating this preventable condition, which affects an estimated two million women and girls i
News
UNITED NATIONS, New York – Gladys Kalibbala, a journalist in Uganda, knows what loss looks like. She has seen it hundreds of times, in the faces of children without homes and in the desperation of mothers searching for their children.
Press
Twenty years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, the world community recognized that families, in their various forms, should be strengthened and enjoy comprehensive protection and support.

Pages