Hsin-hsin Yang (International Judge of Asian Girls’ Rights Award 2013,2014,2015)

East Asia_Taiwan_楊欣欣 Hsin-hsin YangHsin-hsin Yang is Lieutenant Governor of District 31 (Taiwan) of Zonta International, a global organization striving to advance the status of women worldwide. Zonta International, formed in 1919, has provided training, education, health, sanitation, agricultural and micro-credit assistance to women, primarily through projects implemented by the agencies of the United Nations and other recognized non-governmental organizations. Its 2012-2014 international service projects include Liberia Fistula Program and Elimination of New Pediatric HIV Infection and Prevention and Response to Survivors of Domestic and Gender Based Violence in Rwanda. Zonta, based in Chicago, also makes efforts to protect the human rights of girls and women and reduce violence against them. It also offers scholarships to young women studying in the fields of aeronautics, engineering, and business and awards young women who distinguish themselves in public service. District 31 supports Zonta’s causes through donations and active involvement in various local, regional and international service programs assisting underprivileged women.

Mrs. Yang has been teaching journalism at National Taiwan University part-time since 1999 with focus on reading, translating and writing news in English to share with young people her reporting, translating and writing experiences. She had been correspondent/manager of the Taiwan Bureau of Agence France-Presse, a Paris-based international news agency. After 30 years of journalist career – first working for China Post in Taiwan and later AFP – Mrs. Yang retired to devote more time to education and social service work. She regularly helps young people who are eager to start a career in journalism and also serves as consultant for several media firms.

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Wenchi Yu (International Judge of Asian Girls’ Rights Award 2014&2015)

wenchi_yu (4)Wenchi Yu is an entrepreneur, columnist, and foreign policy analyst. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Banyan Advisory Group LLC, a firm connecting Asia to the world. The firm advises on strategic partnership building, market entry and expansion, impact investing and philanthropic giving, and strategic communications. Wenchi writes a bimonthly U.S. foreign policy column for Caixin, a Beijing-based media group providing financial and business news. Previously as an Obama administration appointee, Wenchi led key U.S. State Department initiatives to empower women and girls in Asia, advancing former Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy priorities. She also worked in the U.S. Congress to promote China’s rule of law development, and at the NGO Vital Voices founded by Hillary Rodham Clinton to advance women’s global leadership.

Wenchi is a contributor to the Forbes and a Caixin columnist. She is also a managing committee member of the Suu Foundation, a humanitarian organization founded by the Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to advance health and education in Myanmar. She is also an Asia Society Fellow and a non-resident fellow for Project 2049 Institute, a DC-based think tank. She received her BA from the National Taiwan University and her MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago. She lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mashuda Khatun Shefali (International Judge of Asian Girls’ Rights Award 2015)

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Mashuda Khatun Shefali is the Executive Director of Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), which translates to the Centre for Women’s Initiative. NUK works to promote gender equality, human rights and the personal and political empowerment of women and girls in Bangladesh.

Before founding NUK, she worked in the development sector for the Bangladesh Ministry of Women’s Affairs as well as for several citizen sector organizations, women’s groups and donors. This period concluded with a position in the Canadian International Development Agency, where she managed development funds for a large number of local NGOs throughout the country. Shefali is currently the founder and Managing Director of the Kishorgonj Eye Hospitals and Agarashindur Community Hospital in Kishorgonj. Her latest project is the Bangladesh Women’s Fund, which conducts fundraising and grant-making for local women’s NGOs in order to invest in the rights and equality of women and girls. Her areas of expertise include gender, human rights programming and labor rights.

Mashuda has a Masters in General History and International Relations from the Jahangir Nagar University. She has completed a Certificate course on “Women, Men and Development” from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. She has also completed “Gender Matters in Development” from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in the United Kingdom, advocacy training from the Advocacy Training Institute in Washington, D.C., and diplomacy training from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK)

Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), established in 1991, a national non-government women’s development support organization mandated to promote gender equality, human rights and foster personal empowerment of women and girls in Bangladesh. NUK also operates Shelter for forced marriage victims, migrant workers and female students in Dhaka and Mymenshing for their safe living and continue higher education. NUK’s Poverty Alleviation and Integrated health & family development program maneuvers women’s economic & health empowerment. NUK undertakes research and advocacy initiatives on gender issues in development and is widely known as an advocate of gender equality in Bangladesh. NUK has become twenty four years now. Twenty four years of challenges faced with competence and excellence has widened NUK’s horizon with such precision in all dimensions that no stumbling block, whatever may be its size, can any longer prevent it to reaching her vision.