New York, 20 September, 2016 – Tanzanian Rebeca Gyumi, executive director of the Msichana Initiative in Tanzania, was honoured at the first annual Global Goals Awards in New York for her efforts to end child marriage in Tanzania.
“I would like to dedicate this award to all Tanzanian girls and every girl around the world who escaped child marriage in search of freedom. You are my true motivation,” she said.
Ms Gyumi, along with the Msichana Initiative, won a landmark court case in July that ended legal provisions permitting child marriage in the country. “Changing the law is one step towards ending child marriage. But it is just the beginning of a wider campaign to change these inhuman acts,” said Gyumi. “For child marriage to end, we need to work together.”
Ms Gyumi was honoured during a ceremony in New York along with a Syrian teen and Olympic swimmer who saved fellow refugees from drowning and an organization that brings health care to vulnerable girls and women in Pakistan.
The three honourees were recognized for their significant contributions to advancing the rights of girls and women. Leaders from business, government, and entertainment attended the ceremony.
Also present were Chief International Correspondent for CNN Christiane Amanpour, entrepreneur Chris Anderson and Grammy Award winner and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo.
The Global Goal Awards are part of ongoing efforts to rally support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals unanimously adopted by every country in the world to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.
The awards were curated by UNICEF with the 17 SDG Advocates forming the official judging panel.