The U.S. State Department announced today that Tibetan writer and blogger Tsering Woeser is a winner of the 2013 International Women of Courage Award. Presenting this year’s award at the March 8 ceremony will be Secretary of State John Kerry and special guest First Lady Michelle Obama.
The International Women of Courage Award recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated courage and leadership, often at great personal risk, to promote justice and rights. Since its inception in 2007, the Department of State has honored 46 women from 34 different countries. Tsering Woeser is among 10 awardees this year (the list can be found at www.state.gov/s/gwi/programs/iwoc/2013/bio/index.htm).
“The International Women of Courage Award represents due recognition of Woeser’s courageous efforts to champion justice and rights in Tibet and China,” said Mary Beth Markey, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “This award is not only an acknowledgment of Woeser’s personal accomplishments, but also an affirmation of the U.S. government’s concern for the Tibetan people in their struggle for rights and dignity.”
Tsering Woeser is a writer, blogger, and poet who uses her voice to encourage a public discourse within China on Tibet and to promote Chinese-Tibetan solidarity. While living under virtual house arrest in Beijing, Woeser has used technology and her own creativity and resilience to overcome the obstacles imposed by Chinese censors and report on the Tibetan situation in contemporary People’s Republic of China. Her tweets and blog have become a vital source of information on Tibet to analysts and government policy-makers around the world.
First given in March 2007, the International Women of Courage Award is given to “recognize women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and advancement.” At the 2012 ceremony, First Lady Michele Obama, said that, “These women] committed themselves to fighting for the world as they know it should be. …They saw violence, poverty, discrimination, and inequality — and they decided to use their voices, and risk their lives, to do something about it.”