Press release 2/21/2007: Carola Roloff receives international award

Award ceremony for the outstanding dedication of Buddhist women in occasion of the UN’s international women’s day
March 7th 2007, from 8 am to 4 pm
United Nations, Bangkok, Thailand

During the course of the UN’s international women’s day, Carola Roloff received an award for her outstanding commitment towards the plight of Buddhist women. The award acknowledges her dedication towards improving Buddhist women’s rights worldwide. She stood up for the revival of the religious order for nuns. She has been instrumental in planning and implementing the forthcoming international congress on Buddhist order rights with S.H. Dalai Lama in Hamburg 2007, which will focus on reviving of full ordination for women. The congress will be attended by many important speakers from around the world; monks, nuns, Vinaya academics, Buddhist historians from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Europe, USA and Australia.

The Venerable Bhikkhuni Rattanavali initially created this award ceremony in 2002. She was one of the first Thai nuns to travel to Sri Lanka and study Buddhism in order to receive full ordination.

The award is dedicated to outstanding Buddhist women, who through their positions of leadership pursue a culture of dialogue and peace. This award intends to foster and strengthen the leadership positions of those Buddhist women. Nationally and internationally, the event has received a lot of press, radio and television coverage. In the course of the last years, leading Buddhist women from Taiwan, Thailand and the USA have received the award.

Buddhist women are traditionally and systematically discriminated in most parts of the world. By not being allowed to receive full ordination they are incapable of exercising their religion properly, which consequently influences their spiritual work and status within society. Nevertheless there are numerous examples of women who in spite of these difficult circumstances, take up the challenge and begin to question their predicament - they are the positive role models for many Buddhist women worldwide. The stories of these women’s lives are mostly unknown and not acknowledged. All of them dedicate their work to people in great need, standing up for human rights and religious tolerance, supporting the development of society through continued focus on health issues and children’s care.

The main objective of the congress is to strengthen the network of Buddhist women from around the world and to praise their dedication. The acknowledgement and promotion of these women will hopefully open new mindsets and widen perspectives.

While religion is one of the main sources for the transformation of values in many countries, it is simultaneously a source for sexual inequality and discrimination. The award is supposed to give people new self-esteem and international support to foster an improved self-image and make their all round work more effective. They represent positive role models for Buddhist girls and women by confronting issues such as poverty, prostitution, Aids and violence against women.

For more information: and