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Six courageous Romanian women awarded by the American embassy


The American embassy has awarded six Romanian women the ” Women of courage” award. Every year the embassy awards courageous women from all over the world and Romania made no exception.  The award celebrates exceptional courage, leadership and support for human rights, women equality and social progress.

Hans Klemm, the American ambassador said
“While these women come from diverse backgrounds and work in different sectors of society, they are united in their willingness to take on some of the toughest issues facing Romania.  We are grateful for their ongoing efforts and are proud to honor them here tonight.Yet while we are focusing on these six brave women, this celebration is really about all the women in Romania and around the globe.  The safest, most economically sound and forward thinking countries in the world are those that promote equality and respect for women’s rights.”

The women awarded are:

Erika Garnier


Erika Garnier has been working for Motivation Romania from 2011, a respected NGO that helps people with mobility difficulties to be more active on a personal, social and professional level. Erika has joined the association as a volunteer and then she became an independent trainer and now she is a project manager. Erika has already helped through her project many people suffering from disabilities by offering wheel chairs and teaching them how to use them best.

Magda Ciobanu si Ramona Brad

Doctor Magda Ciobanu and Ramona Brad PR practitioner have formed the Romanian Coalition for Breathing, a network of over 250 organizations that promotes banning smoking in public places.
Hans Klemm said
“Dr. Ciobanu’s medical expertise and Ms. Brad’s public relations background combined to help organize a grass roots movement to protect the rights of non-smokers, as guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution. The women faced an uphill battle, as tobacco companies and retailers had better financing and more resources. Despite challenges, the women continued to pursue the rights of all Romanians, including children, to breathe smoke-free air. They used social media and celebrity endorsements to grow their cause.”

Ioana Moldovan
Ioana Moldovan is a freelance photographer that has documented political and military events in Ukraine and the refugee crisis. Her work was published in many international publications.
Sergeant Mirela-Valentina Melinte
Mirela-Valentina Melinte is the first member of the Romanian Armed forces to participate in a mission with the US Special Forces. She has participated in humanitarian missions to support the local population in Afghanistan.

Madalina Turza

Madalina Turza, the President of the European Centre for the Rights of Children with Disabilities (CEDCD)has been advocating for the rights of children with disabilities in Romania. She has focused on equal access to education since she her daughter, who suffers from Down syndrome has been denied access to a school.