(Newsroom Panama) Panama’s most highly educated indigenous woman Toribia Venado Venado nominated for the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2010 International Women of Courage Award, was officially recognized in Panama this week (ending April 2).
In honor of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Ambassador to Panama, Phyllis Powers, hosted a reception at the Ambassador’s residence.
The State Department issues the award each year to women from around the world who make outstanding sacrifices to advance human rights, particularly women’s rights, and to help protect those who are vulnerable.
Toribia Venado Venado is currently the Assistant Director of the National Institute of Women. one of the most senior government positions ever held in Panama by an indigenous woman.
She also holds nursing and law degrees, as well as three post-graduate degrees.
In presenting the award Ambassador Powers said: “Toribia Venado Venado has been a tireless advocate for women’s rights in Panama, as well as a powerful example for her community. She is not only courageous because of the many obstacles she has overcome in life, but she chooses day in and day out to commit her energy and time to advancing the interests of all Panamanian women. We proudly recognize her
accomplishments and hope that others will follow her example.”
Panama’s First Lady Marta de Martinelli and U.S. Ambassador Phyllis Powers
Lic. Venado has dedicated her professional efforts to advocating for women’s rights and indigenous rights. She focuses on issues related to children and adolescents, HIV/AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health. She serves as the National Coordinator of Indigenous Women in Panama (CONAMUIP), and the Association of Ngäbe Buglé Women. One of her current projects aims to create a school of politics for Ngäbe women.
A note from the embassy stresses that the U.S. continues to make the empowerment of women and girls a cornerstone of its foreign policy, evidenced in Panama through support for mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs, scholarships, and other Embassy-funded educational opportunities.