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International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation Announces Outstanding Buddhist Women for 2024

The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation (IWMCF) has selected 31 recipients for its Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award for 2024, which coincided with International Women’s Day on Friday.

An initiative of two Buddhist monastic, Bhikkhuni Rattanavali from Thailand and Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee from the US, the IWMCF first began presenting the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award to Buddhist women in 2002, on the United Nations’ International Women’s Day, as a way to recognize and highlight their global contributions. The IWMCF award recognizes achievements and excellence in four categories: Meditative Practice; Social Work and Community Development; Dharma Propagation; and Peace Activism.

This year’s Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award recipients are:

1. Bhikkhuni Bharmmasara from Thailand
2. Bhikkhuni Dhamma Khema from Thailand
3. Bhikkhuni Gautami from Bangladesh
4. Bhikshuni Chang-An Shih from Taiwan
5. Bhikshuni Dr. Bich Lien from the US
6. Bhikshuni Lama Karma Droupgyu Wangmo from France
7. Chanyanat Sanpakdithai from Cambodia/Thailand
8. Ching Wi Yap from Singapore
9. Mei-Ru Huang from Taiwan
10. Ursula Lyon from Austria
11. Bhikkhuni Khamesi Guruma from Nepal
12. Bhikkhuni Sumangala from Malaysia
13. Bhikshuni Clear Grace Dayananda from the US
14. Bhikshuni Shik Chuan Wen from Malaysia
15. Bhikshuni Tian-De Shih from Taiwan
16. Bhikshuni Yi Xin from Taiwan
17. Dr. Ching-Chin Lin Wang from Taiwan
18. Dr. Sirikarn Techa-apichok from Thailand
19. Katharina Kobel-Shepherd from Switzerland
20. Khine Hnin Wai from Myanmar
21. Maechee Dr. Bunrueng Bunpanya from Thailand
22. Maechee Dr. Srisuda Tuamsomboon from Thailand
23. Maechee Dr. Subin Phonlamai from Thailand
24. Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Abhinanda Riditohtuwee Maha Theri from Sri Lanka
25. Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dhammawati Guruma from Nepal
26. Most Venerable Bhikshuni Gwang Yong from South Korea
27. Most Venerable Bhikshuni Xiu-Neng Shih from Taiwan
28. Most Venerable Bhikshuni Zhang-Xin Shih from Taiwan
29. Saskia Graf from Germany
30. Ven. Dr. Pooja Dabral from India
31. Zhou Xiupen from Taiwan

Click here for full details about this year’s awardees and their accomplishments

“International Women’s Day, 8 March, is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world,”  the IWMCF observed. “This date is also commemorated at each of the five United Nations’ branches in the world. There is also an honoring of the day across the world at universities, schools, and educational institutions. . . .

“When women on all continents, who are often divided by national boundaries, ethnic, racial, linguistic, cultural, economic, and political differences, come together to celebrate their day, they can look back to women’s struggle for equality, justice, peace, and development. . . . 

“Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality, as a fundamental human right.” (International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation)

Based in Thailand, the IWMCF was created to promote gender equality in Buddhism by establishing female monastics as social leaders by offering: meditation and Buddhist practice for women and girls; Dharma teachings for women and girls; post-graduate education for female monastics; the annual Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award; and IT and media Services for women Dharma teachers.

“Buddhism supports the four-fold sangha of: bhikkhunis, bhikkhus, lay women, and lay men as the foundation for a holistic, inclusive, and healthy Buddhist society,” the IWMCF noted. “Bhikkhunis serve many very important roles in Thai society as teachers, counselors, change agents, social activists, meditation experts, and positive role models for women and girls, thereby addressing the many issues that women and girls face so that their lives will be happy, healthy and full of self confidence.” (International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation)

International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March each year to highlight issues vital to the global women’s rights movement, such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. The campaign theme for 2024 is “Inspire Inclusion:”

When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. Collectively, let’s forge a more inclusive world for women. (International Women’s Day)

With roots dating to 1911, when the first International Women’s Day was observed by more than a million people in Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. International Women’s Day subsequently became a mainstream global holiday, and a public holiday in several nations, after being promoted in 1977 by the United Nations, which began celebrating International Women’s Day in 1975. For 2024, UN Women announced a call to “Invest in women: Accelerate progress” as “the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations.” (UN Women) 

See more

International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation
Awards: Outstanding Women in Buddhism 2024 (International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation)
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day 2024: ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’ (UN Women)

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David Boucher
David Boucher
26 days ago

Looking forward to the outstanding Buddhist men article. But even better let’s not make these gender-based distinctions. Toxic feminism has no place in Buddhism.