"It is a time of dramatic change in my country. There are women leaders from all walks of life… who courageously joined the anti-coup movement," she told VOA's Burmese service.
"I feel awkward, uncomfortable, and sad to receive this award in this difficult time. Even though I do not deserve this award compared to those who sacrificed most, I am accepting it on behalf of all courageous women who fight for democracy and freedom for our country," she said. During the ceremony, U.S. first lady Jill Biden spoke about the common struggles of the awardees.
"Your fight is our fight. And your courage causes us to come together again, and again, and again," Biden said.
"Diplomacy at its best is a recognition of this connection that freedom for women in Afghanistan strengthens communities everywhere, that education in Burma creates opportunity far away, that fair elections in Belarus will bolster our own democracy too," Biden said. The IWOC award, now in its 15th year, has recognized more than 155 awardees from over 75 countries since March of 2007. (VOA/SP)