WOZA wins Amnesty International Human Rights Award

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has been awarded the 5th Human Rights Award by Amnesty International German Section. The award was presented at an award ceremony at the ‘Berliner Ensemble’, a well-known theatre in the centre of Berlin on Sunday 16th November. WOZA leaders, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, received the award on behalf of the organisation.

Williams and Mahlangu, who were released on bail from Mlondolozi Prison on Thursday 6 November, won an application from Bulawayo Magistrate’s Court to be allowed to travel to Germany to receive the award.

The pair had been released on bail with strict reporting conditions. They had to report to their nearest police station twice a week and were not permitted to travel outside of a 40 kilometre radius of Bulawayo Post Office without the written permission of a magistrate.

Williams and Mahlangu appeared in Bulawayo Magistrate’s Court on Monday 11th November for a routine remand hearing where they requested permission to travel to Germany. Magistrate Maphosa requested however that the application be made in open court on Tuesday 12th. After several delays, the state decided not to oppose the travel application and reporting conditions were temporarily suspended until November 26th to allow the activists to travel to Germany. Upon their return they will resume reporting and remain within a 40 kilometre radius of Bulawayo until their trial which is scheduled for 2nd December 2008.

The German section of Amnesty International assigns the Human Rights Award every two years to people that defend and fight for human rights, especially under harsh circumstances.The award statue was designed by the internationally known sculptor Tony Cragg.

In the past, the prize was given to Turkish advocate Eren Keskin (2001), a human rights defender from Russia, Swetlana Gannuschkina (2003) and Monira Rahman from Bangladesh (2006).

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Reader Comments

Type your comment here. This is just a message of support to the brave and courageous WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE, and especially to the incredibly brave JENNI WILLIAMS and MAGODONGA MAHLANGU. My warmest good wishes to you. Wynn (An AInt. member in Sarlat, France)

Type your comment here.
Great! and congratulations WOZA, congratulation women! Take it proudly.
Christiane Martin, Grenoble

Félicitations. Gardez toutes courage et espoir.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! How is the weather? please, put some nice pictures on your website! (because I am collecting all of them… and do not eat to much eisbein…
my computer does not work, so I asked Mum to congratulate you!


Sigi, Germany, (13 years in january)

I had the opportunity to be in Berlin and attend the prize-giving ceremony, which took place in a big theatre. I was VERY impressed by Ms Williams, Ms Mahalangu and the other ladies. They received long, long standing ovations for their work and their outstanding courage. There were famous artists performing for them, human rights around the world were highligted, and the celebrations were covered by the press and broadcasted on German TV.

Of course there was also space to tell the story of Zimbabwe, of the desastrous food situation and ongoing oppression. This prize is for WOZA! and your peaceful struggle for a Zimbabwe where human rights are respected and protected.


Viva to you the gallant daughters of Zimbabwe. Let the spirit of all the great women of Zimbabwe and the world who fought and died for the cause continue to lead and guide you. You are heroes to the many millions who never had the courage that you women of steel have. I salute you. I respect you. I pray that you will be honored and remembered in the new Zimbabwe that we are fighting for. Long live to you ladies. Long live WOZA

Congratulations WOZA for your achievements! You are a fine representation of strong and courageous women. You are the beacon of hope for women and girls in your country and in others. You have shown through the adversities faced in your country, and your efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed. I recently attended the AWID ( Association for Women’s Rights in Development)forum. I had an opportunity to speak with women from Zimbabwe and I walked away feeling inspired and empowered. Please let me know how we can help support your efforts here in the United States.

Best wishes and regards,

La’Keba Garcia- Chicago, IL

I am very glad to hear this new. Congratulations !
Danielle ( France)

Type your comment here.

Congratulations!We are supporting your fight for freedom and dignity

Warmest regards


I warmly congratulate you on this occasion of this prize that you really deserve.
If there were more women and men like you in the whole world, our planet would be a peaceful place.
We admire you for your courage.
Micheline Rondou (group of Vincennes France)

Greetings to you for the reward of the german section of Amnesty International.
Your french friends are happy for you.
Keep courage and strong spirit.
Francine Guillot