MADRE Statements

MADRE Founding Partner Mirna Cunningham Receives the 2012 NGO CSW Woman of Distinction Award!

Posted on: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keywords: Nicaragua, Latin America, Indigenous Rights, CSW

On February 26, 2012, the Committee on the Status of Women granted Mirna Cunningham the 2012 Woman of Distinction Award for her dedication to rural women's and Indigenous Peoples' issues.  

MADRE congratulates Mirna, who was core to our founding in 1983 and remains a close and dedicated partner and friend today. Over the years, her tireless advocacy for rural women's and Indigenous Peoples' issues helped sow the seeds of landmark human rights victories, in Nicaragua and beyond.

Mirna, an Indigenous Miskita woman from Nicaragua, defied discrimination to become the country's first woman Miskita doctor. She played an integral role in her community as a powerful organizer, leader and vocal advocate of women's human rights.

Mirna rose to prominence as the first female Miskita governor of the autonomous region, brokering the negotiation of major peace agreements; including the Law of Autonomy of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities from the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (1987) and the establishment of the first autonomous regional government. She served on the Autonomous Regional Council of the RAAN as well as the Deputy of the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic Coast in the National Assembly.  

Mirna is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women and serves as an advisor to the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America, the Continental Network of Indigenous Women and the International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI). She is President of the Center for Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples (CADPI) an organization co-founded by MADRE.

MADRE applauds Mirna for her lifelong dedication to women’s human rights. Her demonstrated commitment continues to empower and inspire women worldwide.


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