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SSudan rights and peace advocate nominated for Women Building Peace Award

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rita Martin Lopidia, co-founder and executive director of the Eve Organization for Women Development | File photo

The United State Institute of Peace has nominated the co-founder of the Eve Organization for Women Development in South Sudan for the inaugural Women Building Peace Award, 2020.

Rita Martin Lopidia is among 10 women recognized globally for advancing the role of women in pursuit of peace in fragile or conflict-affected countries.

She stands to win $10,000 award during a virtual ceremony on September 15.

Ms Rita is the Executive Director of Eve, an organization that focuses on peace, security, women empowerment and development issues in South Sudan.

The award is organized by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

According to the institution, the 10 finalists were selected by USIP’s Women Building Peace Council.

“As we struggle to navigate a global crisis and an increasingly complex world, these 10 women stand out as courageous beacons of hope and strength,” said Nancy Lindborg, USIP President and CEO.

More than 150 women were nominated for peacebuilding efforts in 51 countries.

The 10 finalists were selected by 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 ending and preventing violent conflict.

The institute said the women have persevered under tough circumstances and have been extraordinary models of collaboration, leadership, courage, and commitment.

“They are inspiring figures,” said Marcia Carlucci, co-chair of the council.

The women nominated alongside Rita Martin are; Beata Mukarubuga from Rwanda, Odette Habonimana from Burundi, Victoria Nyanjura from Uganda, Julienne Lusenge from DR Congo, Tabassum Adnan and Asia Jamil from Pakistan, Ángela Maria Escobar and Rosa Emilia Salamanca González from Colombia, and Irene M. Santiago from the Philippines.

“This moment vividly illustrates the vital role women play in stabilizing, healing and addressing the fundamental needs of a disrupted society. This new prize gives these selfless women much deserved recognition,” said Megan Beyer, co-chair of the council.

The Women Building Peace Award is said to build on 10 years of USIP’s existing work to empower women, elevate their voices, and support their roles in local and national peace processes.

USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg hopes the inaugural Women Building Peace Award will shine a light on women who have “dedicated their lives to doing the kind of work that reduces conflict and resolves violence, often in some of the toughest countries around the world.”

Ms Rita Martin was also nominated in 2018 for the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

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