Bangladeshi, Pakistani advocates receive awards for leadership in DRR, climate action, women's rights for those with disabilities

WIN DRR Leadership Awards 2023

Manila, 13 October 2023. The Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR) Leadership Awards 2023 have been granted to Ms Shaila Shahid from Bangladesh, Senior Advisor of the Pitachara Forest and Biodiversity Initiatives and National Alliance on Drowning Prevention and former Government official, and Ms. Abia Akram from Pakistan, who has been an advocate for the rights of women with disabilities since her young age. 

The award winners were announced by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Mami Mizutori, on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction in Manila, Philippines. They were selected from more than 400 nominations received from across the Asia-Pacific region. The awards, which come with a cash prize, celebrate women's achievements in reducing disaster risk and building resilience.

“Promoting women’s leadership is dear to my heart – even more so today, on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, when we celebrate inclusion and say: no more inequality, no more leaving people behind”, said Ms Mami Mizutori. “Inclusive disaster risk reduction is more effective disaster risk reduction. Women’s participation and leadership in planning and decision making is central to ensuring that disaster risk reduction measures cover everyone – women, men and gender-diverse people.” 

Excellence award winner Shaila Shahid has been instrumental in strengthening the legal and institutional frameworks for disaster risk reduction and resilience in Bangladesh. “Women are the faces of resilience, agents of change, actors and contributors at all levels of disaster risk management. What we need is to create an enabling environment for them to actively play their roles”, she said. 

“Nothing about us without us,” said Rising Star award winner Ms Abia Akram. “I believe women with disabilities are the best advocates of their rights, lobbying with the State is essential for addressing issues such as gender-based violence faced by women with disabilities during disasters.”  

The WIN DRR Leadership Awards recognise women’s achievements in disaster risk reduction across the Asia-Pacific region. The awards are part of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction flagship women’s leadership initiative and the Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR), which is supported by the Government of Australia.

This is the third consecutive year that the WIN DRR Leadership Awards are presented. There are two award categories – the Excellence Award, proudly sponsored by SM Prime Inc., worth US$10,000, and the Rising Star Award worth US$7,500. 

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Themes Gender
Country and region Asia Oceania
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