Women of Zimbabwe Arise founder Jenni Williams has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State as one of 10 "Women of Courage." She received the award in a ceremony in Washington on Wednesday on the eve of International Women's Day.
"These women are pioneers who are making a difference in the fields of politics and law, education and human rights, business, science and journalism," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in remarks at a State Department ceremony "They are voices for freedom who continue the work of brave women reformers everywhere."
The awards were presented to Williams and the other nine recipients by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, who said the women are an inspiration to all people fighting for democracy and human rights.
Dobriansky read a citation which said that Williams was receiving the award "for her work to effect lasting social change and democratic reform in Zimbabwe by giving a voice to women through her organization, Women of Zimbabwe Arise."
Williams told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the award was an important validation of the work her organization was doing.