WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama will speak at a White House ceremony Monday honoring a Zimbabwean women's rights group, which will receive this year's Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
The award will be presented to Magodonga Mahlangu and her organization, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) by Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's widow.
Zimbabwe's political turmoil in recent years has often overshadowed human rights issues in the southern African country. Mahlangu has been credited for her relentless struggle to organize peaceful protests that spotlight injustices faced by the women of Zimbabwe.
As a result, she has been arrested more than 30 times.
"I feel both great excitement for the recognition of my work with WOZA and sadness because although my work has gained recognition internationally, in my own country I have been labeled an enemy of the state," said Mahlangu in a news release from the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.
The award will include a cash prize of $30,000, as well as ongoing legal, advocacy and technical support through a partnership with the RFK Center, according to the news release.
"Now I know I am not alone, the world is watching and one day Zimbabwe shall be a normal society - with the determination of the members of WOZA, anything is possible," Mahlangu said.
WOZA founder Jenni Williams will also be present at Monday's ceremony to accept the award on behalf of the grassroots movement which has over 60,000 members in Zimbabwe. The organization, founded in 2002, has staged more than 100 peaceful marches to protest the treatment of women in Zimbabwe, as well as other human rights issues.
"In a country torn by violence and economic ruin, Magodonga Mahlangu and WOZA provide a desperately needed voice for the people of Zimbabwe and we were proud to select her and her organization for this prestigious award," said Gay McDougall, the United Nation's Independent Expert on Minority Issues and one of the five human rights experts who selected this year's award winner.
According to the RFK Center, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award honors "courageous and innovative human rights defenders throughout the world who stand up against injustice, often at great personal risk."
The award was established in 1984.
In addition to highlighting the work of WOZA, Monday's ceremony will also feature a tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's brother, who died in August.