Honoring women of extraordinary courage and action

Everyone has oceans to cross, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries? — A.E.

Each year Women Have Wings awards WHW Courage Awards to women around the world who are living in the courageous spirit of Amelia Earhart. Each Award recipient will have demonstrated bold action in pursuit of her dreams, whether that dream be to bring fresh water to her community, heal a village from genocide, or seek an end to gender-based violence. For no matter the magnitude of her goal, the first step toward every woman's dream requires an act of great courage. The inaugural year of the WHW Courage Awards - 2012 - celebrated the 75th anniversary of the famed pilot's around-the-world attempt. In this year, WHW granted three Awards. In 2013 WHW granted Awards to six women and in 2014 WHW again granted Awards to six women. With an endowment funded by the sale of the only flying and fully-restored sistership of Earhart's trusty 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E, WHW will continue to acknowledge, in perpetuity, women of great vision and courage.

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2015 Award Recipients

Fela Rezafinjato

Fela Rezafinjato

Ms Rezafinjato has always been at the forefront of the fight for the recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities in Madagascar. In 2011, she decided to dedicate her expertise and activism to bringing the double discrimination experienced by women with disabilities to the centre of the political discourse by creating AFHAM, the first and only nation-wide network of women living with disabilities in the country.

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Svjetlana Timotić

Svjetlana Timotić

Ms. Timotić has been a leading light in the feminist movement in Serbia and works to include the rights and perspectives of disabled women in the feminist movement’s analysis and actions. For example, she was elected to the board of the Women against Violence Network, a national coalition of twenty-eight different NGOs in nineteen different towns in Serbia that is providing support to women and working to reduce violence against all women in Serbia.

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Yasmine Soraya

Yasmine Soraya

Ms. Soraya has had a pivotal function in the development of her organisation. Shortly after the formation of the group, in 2011, the then Chairman of IMWU passed away and in the period that followed Ms. Soraya was the main person to manage the process of collective grief by the members and ensured that the organisation set up a flourishing structure in the four cities in the country with most Indonesian migrants.

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Davidetta Togba-Cassell

Davidetta Togba-Cassell

Having survived part of the war in an Ivorian refugee camp and the rest in the chaos of Monrovia, Davidetta Togba-Cassell, now fights tirelessly for the rights of girls in Liberia. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Girls Education Movement – Liberia. This NGO advances the protection and empowerment initiatives that are geared toward the transformation of young women in Liberia.

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Obiageli Nwankwo

Obiageli Nwankwo

Obiageli Nwankwo is a retired Chief Magistrate in Nigeria and currently the Executive Director of the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), based in Enugu, Nigeria. CIRDDOC works to assist women to acquire a basic knowledge of the laws that affect them in their daily lives, and publishes legal education materials to enhance legal literacy in society. CIRDDOC also promotes access to justice by providing free legal services to those that cannot otherwise afford to pay for them.

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Miriam Pixtun

Miriam Pixtun

Miriam Pixtun has successfully led the movement known as ‘La Puya,’ a movement of indigenous Guatemalans opposing the construction of the El Tambor gold mine in their homeland. In March 2012, Pixtun led the creation of a blockade of El Tambor. The blockade is manned in shifts 24 hours a day, preventing access to and operation of the mine for more than two years.

Pixtun and La Puya have continued in the face of repeated threats, intimidation and violence, including the attempted assassination of another La Puya leader in 2012. In September 2013, unknown gunmen opened fire in the main street of Pixtun’s hometown, killing 11 and injuring 15. La Puya also faces legal intimidation, and three La Puya members have each been sentenced to nine years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

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2014 Award Recipients
2013 Award Recipients
2012 Award Recipients