The International Women of Courage Award recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated courage and leadership, often at great personal risk, to promote justice and rights.
Today, the State Department acknowledged Woeser’s work by highlighting that Woser has given voice to millions of ethnic Tibetans who are prevented from expressing themselves to the outside world due to government efforts to curtail the flow of information.
Tsering Woser la was born in 1966, She is one of the most prolific Tibetan writer and blogger. In 2003 she resigned from her job in Lhasa after her books and notes on Tibet was banned for containing “serious political mistakes” by glorifying the Dalai Lama. When Woeser refused to confess her “errors,” she found herself unemployed. In 2003 she was removed from the TAR literature Association, her housing was confiscated, and her medical and retirement benefirts were suspended.
Woser is under strict surveillance and was put under house arrest in Beijing briefly in 2008. Her blogs have been routinely blocked inside the PRC. During her visit to Lhasa in August 2008, public security officials searched the home of Woeser’s mother in Lhasa, confiscated computers and questioned Woeser for eight hours.
Much of the news that Woeser reports on is received through email or internet phone service, which carries risk for the senders. In April 2009, 13 of her friends including Norzin Wangmo, were still in detention, some facing charges that they illegally dissminated details of arrests and protests to the outside world. In 2009 she described her feeling of personal security as “sitting on the edge of a cliff.”