Romanian Carmen Gheorghe, president of E-Romnja, which promotes the rights of Roma women, was awarded at the US embassy. Carmen is among the 12 winners of the 2022 International Women of Courage Award (IWOC 2022) given by the State Department. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and First Lady Jill Biden attended the online ceremony in Washington DC.
Since 2013, Carmen Gheorghe has been the president of E-Romnja, an NGO that promotes Roma women’s rights. From 2008-2019 she worked as a project manager, expert, and trainer on LGBTQI+, gender, and Roma issues for several reputable NGOs in Romania, including the “Impreuna” Agency for Community Development, the Roma Education Fund, the LGBQTI+ rights NGO ACCEPT, the Center for Education and Human Rights, and the Resource Center for Roma Communities, a spin-off organization of the Open Society Foundation.
Prior to this, Dr. Gheorghe worked as an expert for the National Agency for Roma, a governmental agency in charge of developing policies for Roma communities. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration (2006), a master’s degree in Gender Studies (2008), and a Ph.D. in Political Science (2014) from the Bucharest-based National School of Political Science and Public Administration.
The recording of the ceremony broadcast online can be found here: https://youtu.be/yveRLbR-8jQ.
Established in 2007, the annual IWOC honors women from around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in order to bring about positive change to their communities, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. To date, under the IWOC program, the U.S. Department of State has recognized more than 170 women from over 80 countries. All awardees have advocated for the protection of human rights, advanced gender equity and equality, empowered women and girls, in all their diversity, and fostered peace and government transparency around the world.