Remarks by Ambassador Laura F. Dogu
March 7, 2017
Good evening. Thank you for joining us tonight as we gather to commemorate International Women’s Day. It is a pleasure to welcome you here into my home and to have this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the incredible work you do on behalf of women and girls in Nicaragua.
We have women, and men, here tonight working tirelessly in many different ways. Advocates, working on behalf of victims of gender-based violence; journalists, shining the light of the press on issues affecting women; educators, equipping young girls with the power of a good education; entrepreneurs, advancing opportunities for women in business; public officers, advancing public policies in favor of the rights of women, and so many more. While you may work in different fields or spheres, you are here tonight because of your shared goal – to advance and elevate the role of women and girls and, in doing so, create a safer, healthier, more educated, and stronger Nicaragua. Thank you all for your extremely important work.
I would also like to especially recognize the work of one very special guest.
Doctora Vilma Nuñez, would you please join me up here?
Each year, the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues provides embassies from around the world the opportunity to nominate a woman for the International Women of Courage award. Nominees are women who display incredible courage, bravery, and persistence in fighting for the rights and benefits of others. This year, our Embassy nominated and today we recognize Doctora Vilma Nuñez, founder and president of the Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos, for her more than fifty-six years of fighting for human rights and civil liberties in Nicaragua.
During her lifetime, Doctora Nuñez has endured imprisonment, torture, and harassment; and yet she remains undeterred and unwavering in the cause of defending others. From her beginnings as a student activist to her current work as the founder and president of Nicaragua’s largest human rights organization, she carries on, relentlessly working on behalf of the fundamental rights of all Nicaraguans.
In my opinion, Doctora Vilma Nuñez is the embodiment of this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, Be Bold for Change, a call to action for individuals to work boldly in their countries, at every level, to make a better, more inclusive world. Her dedication and commitment to the rights of others – women, girls, and the underserved – is a shining example of boldness and courage.
Thank you, Vilma, for your lifetime of devoted service to others, for your incredible boldness, and for being the truest example of a Woman of Courage.
And, once again, thank you to each and every one of you for your brave commitment to advancing the rights of Nicaragua’s women and girls. It is our sincerest hope that as we work together, we can one day live in a world where being a woman, and fighting for the rights of women, is no longer an act of courage.