The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation announced that it will award the 2008 Women’s Rights Prize to three courageous activists who, at great risk to their own safety, have led successful efforts to advance women’s rights in their respective societies.
Yanar Mohammed – co-founder of Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, has become the focal point for women’s rights activism in Iraq. She is publisher of Al Mousawat, which calls for full equality for women, and has opened women’s shelters and safe houses to protect women threatened by domestic abuse and what have been referred to as honor killings. She teaches women activists how to confront intolerance and regularly advocates equality for women on Iraqi radio and television.
Sapana Pradhan Malla – a leader in securing legal reforms protecting the fundamental reproductive and property rights of women in Nepal, is president of the Forum for Women, Law & Development. A practicing lawyer before the Supreme Court of Nepal, she was a driving force behind the passage of legislation to criminalize marital rape and in the drafting of a Gender Equality Amendment Act and a model Human Trafficking Act.
Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian – a leading feminist scholar, therapist and activist, has worked to end domestic violence against Palestinian women, particularly what have been referred to as honor killings. A criminologist and specialist in women’s rights, she has lectured around the world on issues of violence against women in the Arab world and elsewhere. Living in Israel, she has trained women activists in the West Bank and Gaza and established a hotline for reporting abuse.
The Women’s Rights Prize will be awarded in a ceremony this fall celebrating the achievements of the recipients, who will share the $500,000 prize.
“These women inspire us as they courageously fight for gender equality under the most difficult conditions of war and armed conflict – conditions that trigger deeply misogynistic ideologies and practices supported by nationalist and religious fundamentalism,“ said Pinar Ilkkaracan, co-recipient of the 2007 Gruber Foundation Women’s Rights Prize and member of the 2008 Women’s Rights Selection Advisory Board. “Through their vision and dedication, these prize recipients have become the world’s conscience in the struggle for justice, peace, and equality between women and men.”
In addition to the cash award, Ms. Mohammed, Ms. Pradhan Malla, and Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian will each receive a gold medal.
The Women’s Rights Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation is presented to an individual or group that has made significant contributions, often at great personal or professional risk, to furthering the rights of women and girls in any area and to advancing public awareness of the need for gender equality to achieve a just world.
The nomination form for the 2009 awards and additional information about nomination requirements and selection criteria may be found on the Foundation website.