The award categories and descriptions below are based on text contained in the United Nations Articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the San Francisco Ordinance to implement the principles of CEDAW. The CEDAW is an international human rights treaty that provides a universal definition of discrimination against women and brings attention to a whole range of issues concerning women’s human rights.

Countries that ratify CEDAW are mandated to condemn all forms of discrimination against women and girls and to ensure equality for women and girls in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural arenas. The United Nations General Assembly adopted CEDAW in 1979 and President Carter signed the treaty on behalf of the United States in 1980, but the United States Senate has not yet ratified CEDAW.

Following the 1995 UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China, the women's community in San Francisco began to organize around how to bring CEDAW principles to a local context. On October 30, 1997, a consortium of community organizations, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Human Rights Commission, and Board of Supervisors President Barbara Kaufman held a hearing on the local implications of CEDAW. The testimony at the hearing demonstrated that women and girls continue to face discrimination in the areas of economic development and employment, violence against women and girls, and health care. On November 10, 1997, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 1021-97, supporting the local implementation of the underlying principles of CEDAW and urging the United States Senate to ratify CEDAW. On November 17, 1997, Mayor Willie Brown approved Resolution No. 1021-97.

Distinguished CEDAW Women's Human Rights Awardees


  • Amelia Ashley Ward, Publisher, Sun-Reporter Publishing: CEDAW Award for Media
  • Janice Mirikitani, Founding President, Glide: CEDAW Award for Philanthropy
  • Hon. Jackie Speier, Congresswoman, US House of Representative: CEDAW Award for Government


  • Cheryl Jennings, News Anchor, ABC7/KGO TV: CEDAW Award for Media
  • Hon. Fiona Ma, CPA, Board Member, Board of Equalization | District 2: CEDAW Claire Joyce Tempongko Memorial Award
  • Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights: CEDAW Award for Leadership
  • Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director, Center for Women's Global Leadership: CEDAW Award for Legacy
  • Hon. Mark Leno, Senator SD11, California Senate: CEDAW Award for Government
  • Monique Moyer, Executive Director, Port of San Francisco: CEDAW Award for Community Building
  • Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President & CEO, Global Fund for Women: CEDAW Award for International Comity
  • Dr. Tae Yun Kim, CEO & Founder, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions: CEDAW Award for Entrepreneurship


  • Alecia A. DeCourdreauxPresident, Mills College: CEDAW Award for Education
  • Becca ProwdaSenior Manager, Corporate Affairs, Levi Strauss: CEDAW Award for Global/Sustainability
  • Catherine Dodd, Ph.D., Director, San Francisco Health Service System: CEDAW Award for Government
  • Elizabeth "Liz" Aguilar Tarchi, Assistant District Attorney, City and County of San Francisco: CEDAW Claire Joyce Tempongko Memorial Award
  • Nancy Milliken, M.D., Director, UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health: CEDAW Award for Health
  • Regina K. ScullyFounder, Artemis Rising: CEDAW Award for Arts/Media
  • Rita R. SemelFounder, Interfaith Council: CEDAW Award for Community Building
  • Soon-Young YoonChair, NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York: CEDAW Award for International Comity
  • Honorable Justice Tani G. Cantil-SakauyeChief Justice of California: CEDAW Award for Law
  • AT&TCEDAW Corporate Award received by Ken McNeely, President - California


  • Akiko Yamazaki, President of the Foundation & Vice Chair of the Commission, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: Philanthropy Award
  • General Antonio Taguba (Ret), U.S. Army; US Department of Justice Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence; Chairman, Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors (PPALM): Government Award
  • Brenda Wright, Senior Vice President & Manager, Community Relations West, Wells Fargo Bank: Economic Empowerment Award
  • Caryl Ito, Bozeman & Associates: Legacy Award
  • Cassie Doyle, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada of San Francisco: International Comity Award
  • Elmy Bermejo, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor: Labor Award
  • Louise Renne, Esq., Partner, Renne, Sloan, Holtzman & Sakai: Law Award
  • Marilyn Fowler, CEO, Women’s Intercultural Network: Community Building Award
  • Paul Henderson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety, Mayor Ed Lee’s Office: Violence Prevention Award
  • Susan Celia Swan, Executive Director, V-Day: Leadership Award
  • Twitter: Corporate Award received by Adam Messinger, Chief Technology Officer


  • Brenda Yee, Executive Director San Francisco Chinese Hospital: Health Award
  • Christine Bronstein, Founder, A Band of Wives: Community Building Award
  • Esta Soler, Founder & President, Futures Without Violence: Clair Joyce Tempongko Memorial Award
  • Fabiola Kramsky, Host, Univision Television Group: Media Award
  • Janet Reilly, Founder, Clinic by the Bay: Philanthropy Award
  • Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., Convener, Millionth Circle: Global Award
  • Neesha Hathi, Senior Vice President of Advisor Technology Solutions, Charles Schwab: Leadership Award
  • Weili Dai, Co-Founder & Director, Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. : Technology Award
  • Hon. Willie L. Brown, Jr., Former Mayor of San Francisco: Legacy Award
  • Deloitte: Corporate Award received by Teresa Briggs, Managing Partner


  • Barbara Garcia, Director, San Francisco Department of Public Health: Health Award
  • Charlene Harvey, Trustee, Presidio Trust: Environment Award
  • Dorka Keehn, Journalist & Social Entrepreneur: Clair Joyce Tempongko Memorial Award
  • Drucilla Ramey, Esq., Dean, Golden Gate University School of Law: Education Award
  • JaMel Perkins, Past President, Partners Ending Domestic Abuse: Anti-Violence Award
  • Julianne Cartwright Traylor, Associate Director of International Programs, USF School of Law: Legacy Award
  • Karen Kai, Arts & Cultural Education Advocate: Culture Award
  • Lydia Beebe, Esq., Corporate Secretary & Chief Governance Officer, Chevron Corporation: Leadership Award
  • Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Local, Maps, and Localization, Google: Technology Award
  • Noosheen Hashemi, President & Co-Founder, The HAND Foundation: Philanthropy Award
  • Pam Hemann, Executive Director, Leadership California: Leadership Award
  • Roselyne "Cissie" Swig, Founder, Partners Ending Domestic Abuse: Anti-Violence Award


  • Adrienne Pon, Executive Director, SF Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs: Community Building Award
  • Barbara Kaufman, Director, SF Regional Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: Legacy Award
  • Barbara Krumsiek, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Calvert Group Ltd.; Director and Chair of Acacia Life Insurance Company: Corporate Leadership Award
  • Cecily Joseph, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility, Symantec Corporation: Legacy Award
  • David Assmann, Deputy Director, SF Department of the Environment: Environment Award
  • Meg Vasey, Executive Director, Tradeswomen, Inc.: Labor Award
  • Olga Talamante, Executive Director, Chicana/Latina Foundation: Education Award
  • Sherri Burke, MBA, RN, Founder & Board Member, Professional Healthcare at Home: Entrepreneurship Award
  • Susie Tompkins Buell, Founder, Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation: Philanthropy Award


  • Hon. Barbara Boxer, United States Senate: Politics & Government Award
  • Belva Davis, Host, “This Week in Northern California” (KQED); Board Member, Museum of the African Diaspora: Arts & Culture Award
  • Beverly Upton, Executive Director, Domestic Violence Consortium: Community Service Award
  • Hon. Dianne Feinstein, United States Senate: Politics & Government Award
  • Donna Burke, Regional Vice President, Constituency Relations, AT&T: Leadership Award
  • Gwen Chan, Acting Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District: Education Award
  • Julie Castro Abrams, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Initiative: Entrepreneurship Award
  • Luz Vega Marquis, President & CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation: Philanthropy Award
  • Hon. Nancy Pelosi, United States House of Representatives: Politics & Government Award

CEDAW stands for the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international bill of rights for women. In 1998, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to have adopted a local CEDAW Ordinance.

The CEDAW Women’s Human Rights Awards distinguish leaders and organizations who use their public roles to advance the rights of women. Awards are given for leadership demonstrated in multiple sectors of the community, including education, entrepreneurship, government, health, labor, media and philanthropy which represent the CEDAW principles.


CEDAW Article 6 requires suppression of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitutes.

CEDAW Article 11 mandates the end of discrimination in the field of employment and recognizes the right to work as a human right.

CEDAW Article 11 mandates the end of discrimination in the field of employment and recognizes the right to work as a human right.

CEDAW Article 5 recognizes the role of culture and tradition, and calls for the elimination of sex role stereotyping.

CEDAW Article 10 obligates equal access to all fields of education and the elimination of stereotyped concepts of the roles of men and women.

CEDAW Article 11 mandates the end of discrimination in the field of employment and recognizes the right to work as a human right.

CEDAW Article 3 requires action in all fields to advance the human rights of women.

CEDAW Article 7 mandates ending discrimination against women in political and public life.

CEDAW Article 12 requires steps to eliminate discrimination from the field of health care, including access to family planning.

CEDAW Article 11 mandates the end of discrimination in the field of employment and recognizes the right to work as a human right.

CEDAW Article 13 requires that women be ensured equal access to family benefits, bank loans, credit, sports and cultural life.

CEDAW Article 10 obligates equal access to all fields of education and the elimination of stereotyped concepts of the roles of men and women.





An individual or organization who has fought to address violence against women, whether physical, mental, or economic, in innovative and collaborative ways that have resulted in fundamental change.

An individual or organization whose community impact has increased the ability of women to access economic opportunities through employment or self employment, to participate in community activities or to realize adequate living conditions (i.e., housing).

An individual or organization whose pioneering leadership and accomplishments reinforce the right to free choice of profession, employment and the right to professional promotion or success on the basis of merit; without regard to gender based stereotypes.

An individual or organization who breaks with culture and tradition and challenges sex role stereotyping.

An individual or organization whose commitment and dedication has increased education in human rights with a gender perspective.

An individual or organization whose courage and success as an entrepreneur demonstrates the right for women to participate in economic and social life.

An individual or organization that promotes the human rights of women in a particular field, especially when that field has an under-representation of women.

An individual or organization whose leadership in government has resulted in fundamental changes to the policies impacting women and their families.

An individual or organization whose dedicated commitment and efforts has expanded access to healthcare among women and their families in fundamental ways.

An individual or organization who has overcome challenges and expanded opportunities for women in non-traditional fields in enduring ways.

An individual or organization whose career in media (print, television, radio, or Internet) has publicized the struggles of those without a voice in media and championed equal access to human and civil rights.

An individual or organization who has invested in fighting discrimination against women by providing access and opportunities through education, career, and/or vocational guidance particularly those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possible time, any gap existing between men and women.

An individual or organization who has shown extraordinary vision in promoting women and the CEDAW principles.

An individual or organization who has shown extraordinary vision and leadership in promoting the CEDAW principles.

An individual or organization who has acted in a manner reflective of Claire Joyce Tempongko, the courageous young mother who was tragically murdered by her ex-boyfriend, but whose case has inspired systemic reforms to the City's criminal justice response to domestic violence.

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P.O. Box 191482 • San Francisco, California 94119 • 415.779.6636 • womensf@friendscosw.org • Tax ID #51-0183349