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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

US embassy gives woman of courage award to De-Mello

30th March 2012

The US Embassy in Dar es Salaam has bestowed the 2012 Tanzanian Woman of Courage award to Joaquine De-Mello for her efforts to promote equality, opportunity and justice for Tanzanian women and girls.

The US Embassy’s Chargé d'Affaires Robert Scott said during a function yesterday that Joaquine De-Mello becomes the fifth recipient of the award since they began this recognition.

He said De-Mello's passion for the law led her to a life devoted and dedicated to promoting women's access to justice, and that her work has given Tanzanian women a voice and self confidence to work towards meeting their highest potential.

In her remarks, De-Mello thanked the US Embassy for the recognition, and underscored the responsibility of all Tanzanians to promote women's rights.

"The only real satisfaction is to be maturing up inwardly all the time, becoming just, true, generous, simple, courageous, womanly, kind, and active," she said.

De-Mello is a Tanzanian Woman of Courage whose work promotes women's rights in Tanzania. She has been involved in public service throughout her career and has particularly served Tanzania's women and children.

A lawyer by profession who also holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration, she has served as Commissioner for the national human rights institution since 2008.

De-Mello has exhibited great courage in conveying the message that women's rights in Tanzania must be observed and promoted by all citizens. She believes that public apathy, discrimination, and oppressive traditions such as female genital mutilation, contribute to violations and abuses against women and children.

To mark International Women's Day, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice established the annual International Women of Courage Award in March of 2007 to recognise women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and advancement.

Since 2008, US Embassy Dar es Salaam has recognised a Tanzanian Woman of Courage for their efforts to promote women's rights.

Previous recipients include Maimuna Kanyamala, Executive Director and founder of Kivulini Women's Rights Organisation in Mwanza (2011), Ananilea Nkya, Executive Director of the Tanzania Media Women Association (2010), Anne Kilango Malecela, Member of Parliament for Same East (2009) and Helen Kijo-Bisimba, Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (2008).

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