Nwe Oo

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Nwe Oo is a mother, refugee, worker and struggler who was born near the Bangladeshi-Burmese border. When she was still a child, her parent escaped political oppression by the Burmese Government in the now infamous ethnic cleansing period of the seventies and eighties. She then lived in Bangladesh, India, and Thailand – finally settling in the USA where she began her new life.

Nwe is a social worker turned political activist and advocate for refugee / immigrant/indigenous rights. She co-founded the Rakhaing Women Union, United Ethnic nationalities Association, Burma Refugee Family Network. She also has worked for many years with indigenous peoples, immigrant/refugee youth, the advancement of group participation in the democratic process, the women’s movement, and freelance journalism on the Thai-Bangladesh- Burma border and the United States. Nwe has also served as a board member of the Refugee Women Network and Burmese Youth Association and advises national and international organizations and campaigns.

She has held a variety of jobs over the years, including working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and as a professional in the Rakhaing Development Foundation, the Women’s League of Burma, the National Health and Education Committee, the Students and Youth Congress of Burma, the Community Health for Asian American , the Refugee Youth Ambassadors, as well as API advocacy with various White House initiatives on AAPI. She has been a member of the advocacy committee of the 5 world Women’s Conference, Representative to the UN Women. She is the owner of Weaving Through Change, which produces a high quality, natural, ethnic, hand-woven product that is competitive both in terms of price and quality and to offer Refugee women from Burma the chance to preserve their tradition and create a better life.

Nwe received the 2011 Most Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the 2011 V-day Award, and the 2012 The Best Refugee Advocate of the Year Awards. She has a degree in social science from Potuakhali Women’s College in Bangladesh and a degree in Human Rights and Peoples Diplomacy from Thammasat university’s, Thailand.

Nwe has spoken at numerous conferences and written extensively on social and political action, women human rights, minority rights, ethnic diversity, particularly violence against women. Nwe has been interviewed by national and international news agencies and magazine. Nwe has actively worked in lobbying the government to bring about change in both domestic and international settings.

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