Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Francisca del Carmen Espinoza Ortiz, Nicaragua

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Francisca del Carmen Espinoza Ortiz leads the Board of Directors for the Red Nacional de Casas Maternas — Maternity Homes National Network. She helps raise maternal survival rates and the value of womens lives throughout Nicaragua. Under Franciscas leadership, Casas Maternas provides comprehensive medical care and temporary shelter to more than 11,000 women annually. She relies on UNFPA to equip new homes and strengthen those in existence. Today, the Casas Maternas includes 60 homes.

Monira Rahman, Bangladesh

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Monira Rahman is a human rights defender, who works to create a society where women live a life free from the fear of violence. For seventeen years, her efforts have centered on ending violence, abuse and discrimination against women in Bangladesh. As Executive Director of the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Monira has raised awareness and brought about institutional change, including new laws to discourage attackers and prevent future violence. ASF runs a 20-bed hospital and treats 600-700 acid attack survivors annually—many were attacked years ago and never received care. Through ASF, survivors also access mental health services and employment opportunities.