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WOMAN OF COURAGE

Nely (left) and her interpreter Julia

At its fall 2012 meeting, the UNANIMA board chose the recipient of the Fifth Annual Woman of Courage Award. We could not announce this before now because the winner had not officially accepted it! Communication is slow because our winner spends most of her time with the workers in the fields of southern Florida, USA. Nely Rodriguez (left in picture, with interpreter Julia) came to the USA from Mexico as a migrant worker. Her courage and leadership skills soon became evident as she helped organize the workers in fighting a national campaign for better wages and living conditions in the tomato fields of Immokalee, Florida. The workers–largely Hispanic, Haitian, and Mayan immigrants–were still doing their back-breaking work for wages unchanged since 1980.  Nely was one of the speakers at our side event at last year’s Commission on the Status of Women, and she impressed everyone with her confidence and conviction. Check the Coalition of Immokalee Workers at www.ciw-online.org/