Bangladeshi Prime Minister Honors HKS Lecturer Martha Chen

December 18, 2012
By Jenny Li Fowler, Harvard Kennedy School Communications

Martha Chen, lecturer in public policy and international coordinator of the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) Network, has been named a “Friend of the Bangladesh liberation War of 1971” by the government of Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina bestowed the honors at a ceremony Dec. 15th organized by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and attended by the nation's cabinet, judiciary, and parliamentarians.

The citation accompanying the award reads:

“During the cyclone of 1970, Dr. Martha Alter Chen (Marty) Padmashree conducted a major relief work for the victims. She witnessed the massacre by Pakistani troops during the early days of the Liberation War. After returning to Washington, DC, she played an important role in founding “Friends of Bangladesh”, an advocacy NGO which created public opinion in USA, built awareness against the Nixon-Kissinger policy on Bangladesh. She helped raise funds to assist Bangladeshi refugees. For her great contribution towards the Liberation War, Dr. Martha Alter Chen (Marty) Padmashree is awarded Friends of Liberation War Honour”.

Chen’s research focuses on employment, gender, and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy.

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) is a global research-policy network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy. It does so by highlighting the size, composition, characteristics, and contribution of the informal economy, through improved statistics and research; by helping to strengthen membership-based organizations of informal workers; and by promoting policy dialogues and processes that include representatives of informal worker organizations. WIEGO is based in Manchester, UK, and holds a secretariat at Harvard University.

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Martha Chen, lecturer in public policy

Martha Chen, lecturer in public policy