On March 8, which is International Women’s Day, a great honour was bestowed upon one of our outstanding Malaysians, a community activist who has been ardently championing the rights of people with disabilities in Malaysia.
Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi, 54, was conferred the 17th International Women of Courage Award at the White House in Washington, United States.
Just last October, OUM had the privilege of awarding her an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University’s 26th Convocation.
Datuk Ras Adiba was one of 11 women worldwide chosen to receive the prestigious women’s day award. It was aimed at honouring extraordinary women working to build a brighter future for all.
“I became a disabled person in 2002. It hasn’t been an easy journey. I went through a lot of discrimination, and I still undergo it today, ”
“This award is a big step forward for women, especially for disabled women in our country. I pray this award will encourage and inspire more persons with disabilities and girls to reach for the stars and know that the word ‘impossible’ doesn’t exist,” said Datuk Ras Adiba.
A statement issued by the US Department of State noted that Datuk Ras Adiba has “spent most of her professional life advancing and promoting human rights, selflessly advocating for vulnerable populations, and using her platforms to shed light on injustices”.
In May 2020, Datuk Ras Adiba was appointed senator to represent persons with disabilities and in November the same year, she became the first female chairman of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).
Datuk Ras Adiba also became a national Paralympic sharpshooter. She earned a spot in the Malaysian Book of Records for “wheeling” 420km in 13 days from Johor Baru to Putrajaya in her wheelchair.
Congratulations, Datuk Ras! We share in your joy at this major achievement which is a source of pride for all Malaysians. May you continue to shine in your work and passions in life.