Women Warriors: Diane von Furstenberg awards

The Lifetime Leadership Award was presented to Melinda Gates, and the Inspiration Award went to Ward for her coverage of the crises in Afghanistan and Myanmar.

During Ward's acceptance speech, she told the audience, "This truly is unlike any award I've ever received. I feel speechless, I have goosebumps."

At the ceremony, 24-year-old climate activist Vanessa Nakate, who won an International Award, made an impassioned speech about the need for action and funding.

The Ugandan founded the 'Rise Up Climate Movement', to not only campaign against the harrowing effects of climate change but to also amplify the work of African activists.

Winner of another International Award, Wai Wai Nu spent seven years as a political prisoner in Myanmar, and since her release from prison in 2012, she has been championing for democracy on behalf of marginalized women and members of her ethnic group, the Rohingya.

Nu told Reuters, "You only come to realize, when you get this kind of award, was that you did something right, you did something interesting, and that's how I came to realize. It's made me feel a little proud and satisfied, meaningful and happy the way that, especially women from the minority community, marginalized community, it is extremely difficult to get recognition."

Now in its 12th year, the DVF Awards said the award recipients this year have demonstrated leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to making a difference in their communities.

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