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27 April 2015

Celebrating the contribution of Asian women in Wales

The achievements of Asian women in Wales were celebrated at the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards ceremony on 25 April 2015, supported by Cardiff University.

In total, 29 Asian women were nominated for recognition in eight categories, the winners were:-

Science Technology and MedicineProf. Alka Ahuja
Management and LeadershipUsha Ladwa-Thomas
Arts and CultureHiral Narbad Shah
Social and HumanitarianSonia Khoury & Basma Ihbasheh
BusinessYasmin Sarwar
Self- DevelopmentTamasree Mukhopadhyay
Young AchieverAziza Khan
Violence Against Women agendaJasmin Akhtar Ahmed

The celebratory evening was held at City Hall,Cardiff and included an Asian feast cooked by Stephen Gomes, the award-winning chef of the Moksh restaurant, vibrant Bollywood dancing, and a prestigious award ceremony.

The awards are the brainchild of Cardiff University Professor Meena Upadhyaya who was inspired to set up the awards to celebrate the often un-sung achievements of Asian women in Wales, and to identify female role models for the Asian community. Professor Meena Upadhyaya is internationally recognised within the field of medical genetics through her research. She has coached children from local Asian communities to enter University and is also a mentor on the Women in Public Life Scheme delivered by the Cardiff Business School and Chwarae Teg on behalf of Welsh Government.

Professor Upadhyaya said:

“The Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards recognises the contribution of Asian women in all walks of Welsh life and nominations were invited for women from entire Asia who have lived in Wales for two years or more. Once again the standard of entry has been extremely impressive and we are delighted to have the on-going support of Cardiff University.”

Cardiff University supports the awards with judges including Professor Julian Sampson, Head of the Institute of Cancer and Medical Genetics. Speaking before the awards, Professor Sampson said:

“"Many truly exceptional women have been nominated in this third round of the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards, maintaining the very high standards set in previous years. It has been a privilege to meet some of the nominees and to hear first-hand their inspiring stories. I am looking forward tremendously to the awards event and to celebrating the huge contributions all the nominees have made to Wales."

The Inspiring journeys of 18 exceptional WAWAA winners from the last two ceremonies who have ventured successfully into seemingly challenging and unchartered territories have been profiled in a book entitled “HER” which was launched at the award ceremony. The book, partly funded by the Cardiff University, manifests a compendium of female role models of noticeably different age groups, who have struggled and strived to achieve their aspirations. This document will serve as an outstanding and lasting landmark not only for Asian women but for all women.