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Peruvian human rights activist Hilaria Supa Huamán will receive the 2024 Penn Nursing Renfield Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health.

Hilaria Supa Huamán will receive the 2024 Penn Nursing Renfield Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health for her activism in support of indigenous women’s rights in Peru.

Huamán is a Peruvian politician and human rights activist whose work focuses on fighting forced sterilization for poor and indigenous women in Peru, according to an announcement from Penn's School of Nursing. She is the director of the Mosoq Pakari Sumaq Kawsay Healing Center, which offers a blend of modern healthcare and indigenous healing practices to women impacted by forced sterilization.

The announcement said that Huamán's "lifelong dedication" to her work earned her the award. 

“Hilaria Supa Huamán embodies the true spirit of the Penn Nursing Renfield Foundation Award for Global Health,” Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel told Penn Today.  “She has worked tirelessly to elevate the education rights and culture of the communities.”

The Renfield Award will enable her to expand her work to reach up to 10,000 sterilized women across the Cusco state. Services she plans to implement include mobile mental health, biomedical, and ancestral medical services, according to the announcement. She also intends to incorporate traditional midwifery practices to combat obstetric violence. 

Huamán added that she intends to address the interconnected issues of women's health and environmental sustainability by promoting climate resilience initiatives and supporting organic farming.

“This award recognizes the fight of sterilized Quechua women for justice and respect,” she said. “With this award, we will continue to help affected women heal and to pass on knowledge about medicine, midwifery, and rights that will keep our people safe for generations to come.” 

Monique Howard, senior director of women's health initiatives at Penn Nursing's Center for Global Women's Health, described Huamán as a "powerful voice, shedding light on the injustices faced by countless indigenous women.” 

“Her efforts are instrumental in bringing attention to these grave atrocities, creating space for conversations, and driving transformative change,” Howard added.

The award ceremony is scheduled for March 13, 2024, at the Ann L. Roy Auditorium in Fagin Hall. Guests can also attend virtually.