For Immediate Release


Mark Schoeff Jr., chair, NPC Newsmakers Committee (202-662-7218,

Jeffrey Buchanan, RFK Center (202-463-7575 ext 241,

RFK Center

National Press Club Newsmakers: Award-Winning Women’s Rights Leaders to Discuss Instability, Injustice in Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON - Magodonga Mahlangu and Jenni Williams, leaders of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and recipients of the 2009 RFK Human Rights Award, will discuss Zimbabwe's growing instability and social problems at a National Press Club Newsmakers press conference at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, in the Zenger Room, 13th floor, National Press Building, 529 14th St., N.W.

WOZA is a grassroots movement of more than 60,000 Zimbabweans, empowering women from diverse communities to take non-violent action against injustice on a range of issues, including political rights and freedoms, rape, domestic violence, and the rights to health, food and education.

Williams and Mahlangu will outline what they call the worsening economic, social and political conditions in Zimbabwe due to the recent breakdown of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), as well as the country's ongoing violence against human rights defenders and dissidents. They also will detail their experiences leading more than 100 nonviolent marches in support of democratic reform and women's empowerment, and the brutality of the government's response.

Mahlangu and Williams will be joined by Monika Kalra Varma, director of the RFK Center for Human Rights (RFK Center). The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award honors human rights defenders throughout the world who stand up against injustice, often at great personal risk. The annual award includes on-going legal, advocacy and technical support through a partnership with the RFK Center.

Briggs Bomba, director of campaigns at Africa Action, also will participate, discussing the implications of the continuing boycott of Zimbabwe's unity government by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his faction of the government, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T).


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