Amnesty International USA will honor Charon Asetoyer, a member of the Comanche nation and a lifelong Native American women’s health advocate and activist, at this year’s Ginetta Sagan Award Reception tomorrow night in San Francisco. The award, named in honor of a WWII resistance fighter who went on to become a powerful advocate for Prisoners of Conscience, is given annually to honor courageous women around the world who stand up for the rights of women and children who face grave human rights violations.
Asetoyer is currently the executive director and founder of the Native American Community Board and the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Under her leadership, the center provides referral services and resources on health, education, reproductive justice, violence against women, economic development, land and water rights. Under Asetoyer’s direction her organization released The Indigenous Women’s Health Book – Within the Sacred Circle, the first Indigenous women’s reproductive health book, and organized the first Indigenous women’s reproductive rights coalition.
“The Ginetta Sagan Award symbolizes the vital role that women play in defending human rights,” said Eric Ferrero, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Charon Asetoyer is a powerful example of the difference one person can make when they refuse to remain passive in the face of horrific injustice, and instead become leaders in creating a more just world.”
The award, which includes a grant of $20,000, recognizes outstanding achievement, often at great personal risk, and serves to increase international scrutiny on issues that threaten women’s rights, and human rights overall.