Filipina Awarded N-Peace Award for Grassroots Inter-faith Peacebuilding Efforts

Mariam Barandia of the Philippines was awarded the 2016 N-Peace Awards for her efforts to bring inter-religious peace at the grass-roots level by setting up the Kapamagogopa Incorporated, an Islamic volunteer group that brings Muslim and Christian communities together in the Philippines.

Mariam was awarded in the Untold Stories category which recognized women grassroots peacebuilders all over the world along with:

Afghanistan: Habiba Sarabi, for her unrelenting work to bring peace to Afghanistan, while ensuring attention on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Her work spans over more than two decades and includes teaching girls in refugee camps while in exile in the 1990s in Pakistan, as the Governor of Bamyan, and currently as the Deputy Chair of the High Peace Council where she works to include women in the peace process

Indonesia: Ruby Khalifah, for championing civil society action on Women, Peace and Security and for her efforts to bring women of different faiths to a platform of peace with the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) 

Nepal: Basanti Chaudhary, a symbolic representation of a woman from a traditionally marginalized group, standing up for peace and fighting for the rights of others including violence faced by women  

Pakistan: Rizwana Shah, a pillar of strength and symbol of empowerment for creating livelihood opportunities for women in a community where the role of women in the public domain is severely restricted  

Sri Lanka: Sumika Perera, for her lifelong commitment to bringing justice to women, actively contributing to journals to push the gender agenda, and tackling discrimination and violence against women with organizations such as the Coalition for Assisting Tsunami Affected Women (CATAW)

 The N-Peace Awards were first launched in 2011 to recognize and profile women and men leaders and peacebuilders creating change at the grassroots to national levels in Asia. Coordinated by the N-Peace Network across Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Awards shine a light on women and men who demonstrate leadership in building peace and empowering their communities.

This year's awards ceremony took place in Bangkok, Thailand.

The top candidates were reviewed by an expert panel of judges including Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, Vitvit Munt Arhbhorn, Lawyer and International Human Rights Export, Marsha Henry, Deputy Director of LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security, among others.