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"the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - MLK 

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UNANIMA International’s Woman of Courage Award

April 19, 2023
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

CSA is a member congregation of UNANIMA International (UI), an NGO that advocates on behalf of women and children experiencing extreme poverty and homelessness / displacement, and bring the voices of refugees, migrants, the homeless, and victims of human trafficking to the United Nations, with the aim to educate and influence policymakers at the global level. 

Since 2008, UI has presented an annual “Woman of Courage Award,” which honors women from around the world who have exhibited exceptional courage and leadership to make a difference in their communities.

We are very excited to share that UI’s 2018 Woman of Courage, María Herrera Magdaleno, has been selected by Times Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2023! You can read the Times article here.

We would also like to share that UI’s 2023 Woman of Courage Award goes to Sr. Anna Balchan, a theologian, therapist, and social activist who stands up for the rights of survivors of human trafficking. Anna is a Sister in the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate, working in Katowice, Poland. Sr. Anna has over 19 years’ experience working with victims of human trafficking— working on the streets, and helping the homeless, addicts, and sex workers. She is one of the founders of the Association and Care Centre, where she helps victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.


Criteria for Selection
Awardees are selected annually according to the following criteria: 

  • That the awardee be a woman
  • That she has demonstrated courage in the face of adversity (e.g., from government, popular opinion, leaders) 
  • That her actions reflect and support the values and principles promoted by the UN 
  • That her display of courage relates to one of the major areas of concern for UNANIMA International (UI) 
  • That she be nominated by one or more of the UI member congregations 
  • That awardees collectively represent diverse geographical regions 
  • That she can be from a UI member congregation, but must be nominated by a member of a different congregation 


Please email for a nomination form.

You are invited to subscribe to UI’s newsletter and follow them on social media for updates on the Woman of Courage and more. Visit:

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