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In the Struggle for Peace: Saw Mra Raza Linn Wins Yayori Award

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The Women's Human Rights Activities Award, also known as the Yayori Award, is given to those whom demonstrate great strength and commitment to encourage peace and stop discrimination against women.  This year, Saw Mra Raza Linn has earned this award for her role in the pro-democracy movement in Burma.
The Yayori Award focuses on women activists, journalists, and artists (individuals or groups) who work at the grassroots level with socially marginalised peoples in order to create a 21st century free from war and discrimination against women. An individual or a group is selected from the Asian region and offered 500,000 yen. 

Yayori Matsui was a journalist and activist with global perspectives who consistently spoke up for women and other marginalised peoples. She would surely wish for the Yayori Award to encourage women who are struggling to achieve their goals despite their challenging environments. Our wish is that many people will apply for this award, which was created out of her passion and hope.

2007 The Yayori Award Recipient: Saw Mra Raza Linn (Burma / residing in Bangladesh)

Chairperson of Rakhaing Women's Union and a founding member of the Women's League of Burma.

During the democracy uprising in Burma in 1988, Raza Linn led thousands of people and delivered the first democracy speech in her hometown, which is located in Rakhaing State. She conducted non-violent protests against the local administration, and travelled extensively in order to organise different religious groups for participation in the democracy movement. She also worked hard to help prevent the regularly occurring rape cases in the area, and to release many local political prisoners from jail.

When Martial Law was declared in Burma in September 1988, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) ordered the capture and arrest of Raza Linn–whether dead or alive. After fleeing to Bangladesh and hiding for three years in the deep jungle, she resumed her political activities. Since this time she has worked to develop women's leadership and decision-making, and has given Rakhaing children a chance to learn through her publication of the first Rakhaing Language curriculum books.

In doing so, she remained under constant harassment from the Bangladeshi government in the region of the India-Bangladesh-Burma border, where most of the refugees and internally displaced people from Rakhaing State have been concentrating.
Raza Linn has consistently contributed her energy for peace and democracy in Burma, vigorously organising protests against human rights violations and violence toward women and children.

The Committee for the Yayori Award
C/O Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center,
14-10-211, Sakuragaoka, Shibuyaku, Tokyo
150-0031 Japan
Tel: 81 3 3780 5245
Fax: 81 3 3463 9752
Email: [email protected],