Chakma Rani Yan Yan of Bangladeshs has been nominated as one of the nine finalists for the "Women Building Peace Award-2021" by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
The other finalists are: Tabassum Adnan from Pakistan, Josephine Ekiru from Kenya, Teresita Gaviria from Colombia, Waldistrudis Hurtado from Colombia, Tatiana Mukanire from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Esther Omam from Cameroon, Nyachangkouth Tai from South Sudan, and Jayne W Waithitu from Kenya.
This annual award – inaugurated in 2020 to honour women peacebuilders – is scheduled to be given today through a virtual ceremony, reads a press release issued by the US Embassy in Dhaka.
Rani Yan Yan is an indigenous peoples' human rights defender and women's rights activist from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region.
She is also the advisor to the Chakma Circle Chief and the ceremonial queen (rani) of the Chakma people and the Chakma Circle.
Rani Yan Yan has sought to secure the protection and rights of indigenous women and to support their leadership in society. Despite threats and attacks on her life, she has collaborated with local, national, and international civil society organizations to promote peace and justice in the CHT, said the release.
The Chakma queen's belief in democratic processes is reflected in her inclusive and equity-driven approach to strengthen sustainable peace and equality, it added.
"USIP's Women Building Peace Award is a strong symbol to the many women working for peace that their work matters," said Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and member of USIP's Women Building Peace Council.
"This award recognizes the agency of women as leaders, not victims, in building lasting and sustainable peace," he added.
The USIP received nominations of women peacebuilders from over 30 countries.
The finalists for this year's awards were selected by USIP's Women Building Peace Council – an 18-member group of experts and leaders in the fields of gender and peacebuilding – for their exemplary commitment and leadership as peacebuilding practitioners and their key roles in preventing and ending violent conflicts.