Cynthia Gabriel, the founder and executive director of the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), has been nominated by the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur for the 2022 International Women of Courage award.
This International Women of Courage Award acknowledges women from all around the world who have shown outstanding courage, bravery, and leadership in ways that promote good change in their communities, often at considerable personal risk and sacrifice.
Cynthia Gabriel has been chosen as this year’s nominee for this award by the US Embassy in Malaysia.
Gabriel believes that this nomination is an honour and that it comes at an opportune moment since graft-busting work has grown urgent and challenging.
All awardees have advocated for the preservation of human rights, gender equity and equality, the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity, and the promotion of peace and government transparency across the world.
Gabriel is generally acknowledged in Malaysia as a significant human rights advocate. She has devoted most of her professional career advocating and supporting human rights, good governance, and democratic freedoms.
Gabriel has also worked on UN contract research projects in the areas of migrant and refugee study, as well as their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
The spirited lady spent most of her time developing and guiding the work of leaders in human rights developments in Malaysia and throughout the world.
The activist was appointed by the Eminent Council of Persons in May 2018 to the powerful 1MDB special committee, as well as the council to develop a national anti-corruption plan that would report directly to the Prime Minister.
Gabriel, who possesses degrees in both science and legal fraternities, has served and worked with various United Nations programmes on research projects in the fields of democracy and human rights (OHCHR), governance, organised crime, and anti-corruption (UNODC).
She served as Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) global human rights advocacy group, co-founded the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA) human rights network, and is currently an elected board member of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) coalition, which includes approximately 400 organisations worldwide.
Gabriel has a large network in the local and global media and has appeared as a leading human rights advocate and whistleblower on corruption scandals involving Malaysia’s political leadership on CNN, BBC World, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, and The Washington Post, to name a few.
She has previously received the coveted democracy award from the National Endowment for Democracy for her courageous advocacy and persistent services at the United States Congress from Speaker Paul Ryan.
Prior winners and nominees for Malaysia’s International Women of Courage Award are Ambiga Sreenivasan, Susanna Liew, Nisha Ayub, M Indira Gandhi, and Qyira Yusri.