2005 Women's rights Prize Recipients
Founded in 1999, the Women's League of Burma comprises 12 organizations committed to providing a united front in the effort to protect and empower women. It serves women in Burma as well as those who have fled to nearby countries. It seeks to empower women and work for their increased participation in all spheres of society in the democracy movement. The League also encourages an increase in the participation of women at decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes.
The Women's Rights Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation is hereby proudly presented to SWAN, the Shan Women's Action Network, and the Women's League of Burma, an association of eleven women's groups, which SWAN helped to establish in 1999. In awarding this prize, the Foundation celebrates the unique accomplishments of a group of young women leaders who, at great personal risk, are challenging human rights violations under a repressive military dictatorship. Their groundbreaking report, License to Rape, brought to world attention the systematic sexual abuse of Shan women, an ethnic minority in Burma. SWAN works with refugee women, many of who are trafficked into Thailand and remain vulnerable to violence, disease, and continued assaults upon their human dignity. The Women's Rights Prize also honors the Women's League of Burma, an umbrella group that provides a forum and the resources for small grassroots women's organizations that work tirelessly to assist and educate Burmese refugees, regardless of their ethnicity.