Gabriela Ngirmang

Activist Type

Gabriela Ngirmang, born in 1922 in Palau, was a prominent anti-nuclear activist and matriarch of the Ikleau clan. Holding a significant role in Palau’s leadership, she was pivotal in establishing the world’s first nuclear-free constitution in 1979, which banned nuclear activities and garnered 92% voter support. The constitution required a 75% majority to amend nuclear clauses; a stipulation defended multiple times until 1994.

Ngirmang led the women’s group Otil a Belaud, which was crucial in maintaining these nuclear bans. She faced significant opposition, including an attempt on her life, and her activism earned her and her organization international recognition, including Nobel Peace Prize nominations and a UN Environment Programme award. Ngirmang died in 2007.

Artwork by
Jordan Tran

The illustration for Gabriela Ngirmang was inspired by the Palauan Bai’s mad el bai (Meeting House). This place acts as a community center where people gather for events such as feasts, fishing expeditions, and meetings where leaders of the government address the community.


Palau Flag
October 1, 1994
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