Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck

‘Gyalyum Sangay’ Choden Wangchuck is the 57-year-old Queen Mother of Bhutan popularly called as “Ashi Sangay” (Princess Sangay). The Queen Mother is known for her public engagements and charity work. She was appointed UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in the year 1999.

Queen Mother gets UN Award

  • Recently, Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck has been awarded the United Nations Population Award in the individual category for 2020, for her significant work on creating awareness on sexual health and ending gender violence.
  • She also founded a volunteer organisation called ‘Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women’ (RENEW) which provides assistance to individuals and has a vision to make gender-based violence free society.
  • In the organisational category, ‘HelpAge India’ that works on elder care, won the award. This is the first time both the categories of the award are from Indian sub-continent.
  • Only 2 Indians have received the UN Population Award- former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the year 1983 and Industrialist J.R.D.Tata in 1992.
  • The Committee for the UN Popuation Award, which made the selections this year, is headed by Ion Jinga, the Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations, and has representatives of nine other UN Member States.

HelpAge India

It is an Indian organisation which works for taking care of old age people. It was established in 1978.

United Nations Population Award

Established in the year 1981, United Nations Population Award is given to honour an individual or organization for the outstanding contributions to population and reproductive health questions and solutions. First UN Population Award was given in the year 1983. The UN Population Award Committee consists of 10 UN Member states with UNFPA Executive Director and UN Secretary General and as ex- officio members.


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is an agency of UN which works with an aim to improve reproductive and maternal health across the world. It was formed in the year 1969 with the name “United Nations Fund for Population Activities”. It was in the year 1987 that the name of the agency was changed to “United Nations Population Fund.”

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