[New York, 8 March 2015] On International Women’s Day, the NGO CSW/NY Committee awarded Ruchira Gupta as the ’Woman of Distinction 2015’. The European Women’s Lobby congratulates the NGO CSW/NY for this choice, as Ruchira Gupta, founder of Apne Aap, is a great partner of the EWL is its work on ending sex trafficking and violence against women, and raising awareness on the inherent violence and harm of the system of prostitution on all women.
Watch an extract from her speech below.
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY) is one of three women’s committees of CoNGO (Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN) that advocates for women’s rights and gender equality. The Women of Distinction Award is an annual award given to a woman in recognition of her leadership in the struggle for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
After winning an Emmy for her documentary on sex trafficking, The Selling of Innocents, Gupta started Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an anti-sex trafficking organization in India that empowers more than 20,000 low-caste girls and women and their family members affected by prostitution. She received the Clinton Global Citizen award for giving a voice to the voiceless and for tenaciously standing by the last girl in brothels in Bihar and India.
For over 25 years, Gupta has worked to end sex trafficking by emphasizing the link between trafficking and prostitution laws and lobbying policy makers to shift blame from victims to perpetrators. In 2000, she testified in the United States Senate before the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and addressed the UN General Assembly on human trafficking.