Island Girl Power Receives 2010 Pacific Human Rights Award

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Guam – Governor Felix Camacho has congratulated “Island Girl Power” for being awarded the SPC/ RRRT Pacific Human Rights Award.
According to a release by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, three Pacific Islanders as well as three organizations were honored with this year’s Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s /Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC/RRRT) Pacific Human Rights Award. The award, which focuses on recognizing extraordinary efforts in advancing gender equality in the region, was given to Guam’s local non-profit Island Girl Power and Ayuda Foundation among 13 nominations region-wide.

Island Girl Power, a non-profit organization established in 2002, addresses issues facing young girls throughout our community, such as teen pregnancy, suicide, and substance and sexual abuse.

This year’s winners will share a monetary award totaling $10,000 in recognition of their efforts in advancing women’s human rights and gender equality in the Pacific region.

“I want to congratulate the Island Girl Power team and all those who continue to show a commitment to our island community, most especially our young women. No words can express how proud and grateful we are for the work you do. On behalf of the people of Guam, we thank you,” said Governor Camacho. “I must also commend Ms. Cynthia Cabot and Ms. Ruth Leon Guerrero for taking the lead in nominating Island Girl Power and helping our island gain this prestigious award for the first time.”

The awards were presented by SPC’s Deputy Director-General, Ms Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu during a ceremony in Suva, Fiji on December 10, 2010.

For the organization category the overall winner was the Tonga Women and Children’s Crisis Centre in recognition of their work on elimination of violence against women.

Two special citation awards were presented to Island Girl Power and Ayuda Foundation (Guam) for empowerment initiatives for young girls on Guam and the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons for their research and advocacy in the area of women with disabilities.

“They have advocated in favor of the peaceful resolution of conflict, young girls’ empowerment and for democracy, free speech and public accountability. They have put at risk their personal safety and financial security, and have persevered when their goals seemed unattainable. They are committed women’s human rights defenders,” said Sarah Goulding, Counselor Development Co-operation, Australian High Commission Suva.

Nominees for this year’s award must have demonstrated strong commitment to social justice, human rights, democracy and the rule of law with a focus on gender equality, as well as a high degree of commitment in their personal lives and actions to the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.