Archive for the ‘Awards or Nominations’ Category

Sussan Tahmasebi, recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism for 2010, dedicated her award to the imprisoned lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh and other detained women activists on November 10, 2010. Human Rights Watch is presenting the award to Tahmasebi for her courageous work to promote civil society and women’s rights in Iran.

Tahmasebi expressed her concern about Sotoudeh’s deteriorating health. Sotoudeh has been on a “dry” hunger strike since October 31, 2010, refusing to eat or drink anything to protest being held in solitary confinement since her arrest on September 4. Prosecutors charged Sotoudeh with various national security crimes, but have not made public any information regarding the basis for these charges.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending the rights of the accused, often at great risk to herself and her family,” Tahmasebi said. “Now she is behind bars, for no other reason than being unwilling to compromise with authorities when it comes to safeguarding her clients’ due process rights.”

Prison officials have prevented Sotoudeh from meeting with her husband and lawyer. Sotoudeh’s health is in serious decline and she is in critical need of emergency intervention, Tahmasebi said.

Since 2005, and especially since the disputed presidential election in June 2009, Iran has stepped up repressive measures against Iranian civil society activists, including those who advocate women’s rights and speak out against discriminatory laws. The government has arrested scores of volunteers and members of the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grass-roots campaign aimed at overturning discriminatory laws.

“Iranian women in prison today include human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, and students,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “What they have in common is their relentless pursuit of justice, at great risk to themselves, their families, and their reputations.”
Tahmasebi expressed particular concern about three other women sentenced to prison for their work:

* Bahareh Hedayat, the first secretary of the Women’s Commission of the Office to Foster Unity (Tahkim-e Vahdat), and the first – and so far only – woman elected to the national student organization’s central committee. Authorities arrested her on December 30, 2009, and charged her with various national security crimes, including “propaganda against the system,” “disturbing public order,” “participating in illegal gatherings,” and “insulting the president.” In May, Judge Moghiseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Hedayat to nine and a half years in prison in relation to her student and women’s rights activities. In July, an appeals court upheld the sentence. She has remained in prison since her arrest and is currently serving her term.

* Jila Baniyaghoub, an award-winning journalist and women’s rights activist. Security forces arrested her and her husband in their home on June 20, 2009. Prosecutors charged her with “propaganda against the regime” for her journalism and released her on bail after she spent two months in detention. Her husband, Bahman Ahmadi Amoui, is currently serving a five-year sentence on various national security charges related to his journalism. On June 8, a revolutionary court sentenced Baniyaghoub to a year in prison and barred her from working as a journalist for 30 years. In late October an appeals court affirmed the lower court’s ruling. She has not yet begun her sentence.

* Shiva Nazar Ahari, a human rights activist who worked with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. Security forces arrested her on December 20, 2009, as she and several colleagues were preparing to take a bus to Qom to attend the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, a dissident cleric who long criticized the government. Prosecutors charged her with “assembly and collusion to commit a crime,” “propaganda against the regime,” and moharebeh, a vaguely defined offense meaning “enmity against God” that carries the death penalty and is often reserved for people accused of belonging to an organization that takes up arms against the state. On September 18, a revolutionary court sentenced Ahari to six years in prison, to be served in Izeh prison, 500 miles from Tehran, her home town. Ahari’s lawyer has appealed.

Tahmasebi also referred to the situation of several other women activists and journalists who have been sentenced to prison terms. These women include:

* Aliyeh Eghdamdoust, a women’s rights activist serving a three-year sentence for national security crimes after taking part in a peaceful women’s rights gathering at Haft-e Tir square in Tehran on June 12, 2006.

* Shabnam Madadzadeh, deputy chair of the Tehran Council of Tahkim-e Vahdat, the national student organization. Authorities arrested her and her brother on February 20, 2009. Prosecutors charged the two with moharebeh and “propaganda against the regime” in connection with their student activities. In February, after they spent a year in detention, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Moghiseh, sentenced them to five years in prison. Prison authorities transferred her to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, where conditions are notably poor, on August 2. They have denied her family’s requests for medical leave though she reportedly suffers from numerous physical ailments.

* Mahdieh Golroo, a student activist and member of the Committee to Defend the Right to Education, a group dedicated to restoring the rights of students prohibited from continuing their college education because of their political activities. She has been in prison since November 3, 2009. A revolutionary court convicted her of national security crimes and sentenced her to 28 months in April 2010. Although she reportedly suffers from intestinal problems, prison authorities have refused to grant her temporary medical leave.

* Jila Tarmasi, a member of a group of mothers protesting their children’s detentions, who was arrested on October 9, along with her daughter, when security forces raided her home in Tehran. Tarmasi’s daughter was released after 12 days, but Tarmasi still remains in prison and has not been allowed visits by her family. She joined the “Mourning Mothers,” now called the “Mothers of Laleh Park,” to protest her son’s detention. “Mourning Mothers” was established in June 2009 by mothers whose children lost their lives in state-sanctioned violence following Iran’s disputed June 12 election. They used to conduct silent protests in Tehran’s Laleh Park, but security forces now prevent them from holding the protests.

* Akram Zienali, another member of “Mourning Mothers,” was also arrested on October 9 along with her daughter when security forces raided her home in Tehran. Her daughter was released after 12 days, but Zeinali remains in custody. Her son, Saeed Zeinali, was a university student arrested 11 years ago after protests erupted at Tehran University. He has since disappeared, and his mother has been trying for years to discover his fate.

* Fatemeh Masjedi, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign from Qom who worked to promote women’s rights. She was charged with “spreading propaganda against the state” and supporting a “feminist group which works in opposition to the regime” and sentenced on August 29 to a year in prison. Her lawyer is filing an appeal, and she has not yet begun serving her term.

* Maryam Bidgoli, another Qom resident who is a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and who worked for women’s rights. She was arrested and sentenced to a year in prison along with Masjedi, on the same charges. Her lawyer is filing an appeal and she has not yet begun serving her term.

* Mahsa Amrabadi, a journalist who sent a public letter to the head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, criticizing the arrest and detention of journalists, including her husband, Massoud Bastani. Judge Moghiseh of Branch 28 of Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced her to a year in prison in October for “acting against national security” in connection with her interviews and reports regarding the post-election crackdown on journalists. She has not yet appealed the decision in her case nor has she begun serving her prison term.

* Hengameh Shahidi, a journalist and women’s rights activist sentenced to six years in prison on November 15, 2009, by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. Security forces arrested her on June 30, 2009, in Tehran and charged her with various national security crimes, including “participation in illegal gatherings,” “propaganda against the regime,” and “insulting the president.” After persistent requests from her family, authorities temporarily released her from Evin prison on October 28 so that she could undergo medical treatment for a variety of physical ailments, including heart problems.

Tahmasebi called on the Iranian authorities to release those who are serving prison terms or are in “temporary detention,” including Nazanin Khosravani, a journalist who was arrested by security forces last week, and to overturn the convictions of all of the women whose cases she highlighted.

The winner of RAW in WAR’s fourth annual Anna Politkovskaya Award is Dr. Halima Bashir from Darfur (Sudan). Halima comes from the Zaghawa tribe who inhabit the western region of Sudan. In 2003 she became her village’s first formal doctor at 24. A year later, the conflict in Darfur broke out and Halima ran into trouble with the authorities for telling a reporter that the government should help all Darfuri people regardless of their ethnicity. The Sudanese secret police came for her. They drove her to a “ghost house” – a secret detention centre – and abused her, accusing her of being the doctor that helped the rebels, and that she had spoken to the media. She was told to be silent or face the consequences. As a result, the ministry of health transferred her to a remote village clinic, a punishment posting, in northern Darfur, where she was the only doctor. There in early 2004, Halima personally witnessed grave atrocities against women and girls committed by the Janjaweed. They surrounded a girls’ school and held over 40 girls, as young as eight, and their teachers in a primary school, and, while the army stood guard, the militia repeatedly gang-raped the girls.

As she treated the traumatized victims, Halima refused to stay silent once again. She gave detailed witness statements to United Nations representatives, whilst continuing to work in the clinic. Several days later she herself was abducted by Sudanese soldiers, held hostage and gang-raped for three days, to punish her for speaking out and exposing the rape of women and girls by the Janjaweed. They told her they would let her live because “we know you’d prefer to die”. After returning to her family, her own village was also attacked and her father killed. Knowing she would no longer be safe in Sudan, she fled the country, and sought asylum in the United Kingdom. When she was asked by a New York Times writer, Nicholas Kristof, if she regretted speaking out, she remarked, “what happened to me happened to so many other Darfur women. … I have the chance. I am a well-educated woman, so I can speak up and send a message to the world”. Halima was the first to break the silence surrounding Sudanese cultural taboos on sexual violence and became a voice of strength, resilience and courage around the world, speaking out against the rape of women in Darfur committed by the army and the government backed militias. Since leaving Sudan Halima has testified against the current Sudanese president, Omar Al-Bashir, before the International Criminal Court, which indicted him in 2009 for crimes against humanity. Halima has also published an award-winning book, co-written with Journalist Damien Lewis, titled ‘Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur’ (2009). She continues courageously to advocate for justice for the women and girls in Sudan, despite the danger to her own life.

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A national campaign that uses the power of pop culture, media and community mobilisation for outreach against domestic violence India has bagged the prestigious Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Right’s body Breakthrough’s “Bell Bajao! Campaign” against domestic violence has bagged the prestigious Silver Lion, India’s only win in the film category out of the five shortlisted entries.

The films have been created by Ogilvy & Mather and directed by Bauddhayan Mukherjee of Little Lamb Films.

“Bell Bajao” campaign was launched in August 2008 with the support of the Ministry of Women and Child Development and campaign ambassador and popular filmstar Boman Irani. The campaign is based on true stories of people who joined the movement against domestic violence.

“The Silver Lion provides us with a global platform to spotlight violence against women and to ask men and boys to become partners in ending it,” Mallika Dutt, executive director of Breakthrough said in a statement.

“What makes this win even more wonderful, is the fact that this work was not created because one wanted to win an award. But because everyone from the client to the creative team to the filmmaker believed this was what it would take to put an end to domestic violence,” said Ogilvy & Mather group creative director Zenobia Pithawalla.

The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is considered one of the biggest celebration of creativity in communications.

Having assisted more than 12,000 sex slaves, MAITI Nepal rescues girls from being sold into brothels and helps heal the physiological and physical wounds of those who have served in them.

Nominated as one of CNN Hero, Anuradha Koirala founded MAITI Nepal, an NGO that rescues Nepalese girls from brothels in India. She survived an abusive relationship of her own and when she was able to leave the relationship, Koirala opened up a small store, hiring victims of sex trafficking.

The call to make an even bigger difference in these women’s lives drove her to start MAITI Nepal, which roughly translates to “mother’s home.” Though there is no direct translation, it alludes to a woman’s place when she no longer belongs to her family, but to an outsider, usually her husband.

Working members of MAITI Nepal raid brothels and trafficking cartels in Nepal and India. Once the girls and women are found, they’re housed and provided with resources to help nurture them back to a healthy state.

“The hardest part for me is to see a girl dying or coming back with different diseases at an [age] when she should be out frolicking,” Koirala told CNN. “That’s what fuels me to work harder.”

More than 400 displaced women are housed by MAITI Nepal, where they are given therapy, legal advice and health care. The organization staffs teachers, counselors, social workers and medical personnel, many of whom are rescued sex slaves to aid in the rescue and rehabilitation process. The girls are also provided with job training since Koirala’s goal is to enable them to become economically self-sufficient, helping them to assimilate back into society.

In addition to the rescued, MAITI Nepal also takes in victims of domestic abuse, rape and displaced children.

“I cannot say no to anybody. Everybody comes to Maiti Nepal,” Koirala said.

To see a video on Koirala’s work, view the other nominees, or submit a nominee of your own, visit CNN Heroes

Among Clinton’s remarks, she said “we are honoring women from around the world who have endured isolation and intimidation, violence and imprisonment. Many have even risked their lives to advance justice, freedom, and equal rights for everyone. Their stories remind us of how much work there is left to do before the rights and dignity of all people – no matter who you are or where you live – are respected and protected by the world’s governments. But these women prove that change is possible. They are brave and they are making a difference, and they are up against powerful interests determined to bring them down. By honoring them today, the United States and the Obama Administration sends a very clear message that though they may work in lonely circumstances, they are not alone.”

Award recipient Jestina Mukoko of Zimbabwe spoke on behalf of the other recipients. She said, “The International Women of Courage award is a solidarity message that unites women from all over the world regardless of race, religion and color and we have learned that even language has failed to be a barrier to understanding and acknowledging what each one of us is doing. This indeed, Madame Secretary, not only resonates with your strong notion that women’s rights are human rights, but is in line with the theme this year of the International Women’s Day: equal rights, equal opportunities, progress for all,” reported Democracy NOW.

Honorees included the following:
~ Shukria Asil of Afghanistan for “promoting government responsiveness to the needs of women”
~ Colonel Shafiqa Quraishi of Afghanistan for “integrating women into the government and police force”
~ Androula Henriques of Cyprus for “Fighting human trafficking”
~ Sonia Pierre of the Dominican Republic for “Ending discrimination based on country of origin and the human rights abuses of statelessness”
~ Shadi Sadr of Iran for “Advocating for women’s legal rights and an end to execution by stoning”
~ Ann Njogu of Kenya for “Seeking social transformation and at the forefront of reforms in Kenya”
~ Dr. Lee Ae-ran of South Korea for “Promoting human rights in North Korea and aiding the refugee community in the Republic of Korea”
~ Jansila Majeed of Sri Lanka for “Strengthening rights for internally displaced persons”
~ Sister Marie Claude Naddaf of Syria for “working for social services for women”
~ Jestina Mukoko of Zimbabwe for “documenting human rights abuses”

U.S. President Barack Obama honored a group of women on Monday who have confronted Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and said they had defied a dictator.

“They often don’t get far before being confronted by President Mugabe’s riot police,” Obama said at a ceremony for Magodonga Mahlangu and the organization she helps lead — WOZA, which stands for Women of Zimbabwe Arise.

“By her example, Magodonga has shown the women of WOZA and the people of Zimbabwe that they can undermine their oppressors’ power with their own power — that they can sap a dictator’s strength with their own,” he said, presenting the annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

The United States wants Mugabe to halt political arrests and media censorship and to honor a power-sharing agreement signed in September 2008 with his political rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe is a pariah in the West, blamed by critics for plunging his southern African country into poverty through his authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement. He has led Zimbabwe since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe has often blamed Western foes for ruining his country via sanctions, which he says are in retaliation for the seizing of white-owned farms on behalf of landless blacks. Critics say the policy is used as a tool to intimidate political opponents and to give land to Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party loyalists.

After long negotiations, ZANU-PF formed a unity government in February with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, led by Tsvangirai, who is now Zimbabwe’s prime minister.

Dear friends

Greetings from Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)! We are delighted to announce that Ms. Shadi Sadr is the recipient of the 2009 Tulip Award, the Dutch Human Rights Defenders Award.

‘Shadi Sadr is being awarded the Human Rights Defenders Tulip for her exceptional courage, perseverance and work in an environment of concern, where human rights are repeatedly violated,’ said the Dutch Foreign Minister, Mr Verhagen, who will present the award in The Hague on November 9, 2009.

Ms. Sadr is a courageous journalist, human rights lawyer, women’s human rights defender, and one of the most prolific women activists in Iran and in the region as a whole. She focuses in particular on ending the death penalty and stoning, as well as on women’s rights and equality under law and within cultural norms.

She began her activism in Iran as columnist and editor of national newspapers, most of which were successively banned by the Iranian government since 1997. Despite of this, Shadi Sadr continues to write in other online journals she has helped to establish, such as Meydaan and Women in Iran, the first women’s website in Farsi. She is also actively involved in legal research and film-making in order to bring the attention of the international community to discriminatory laws and resulting human rights abuses.

In 2004 Ms. Sadr founded the now-banned Raahi Institute, which provided legal counsel for marginalized women, legal literacy to young lawyers, and implemented empowerment projects. Founder of the Iranian campaign Stop Stoning Forever (SSF) in 2005, and Advisor to the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! (SKSW Campaign), Shadi is also Council member and an active networker of WLUML.

Her tireless defence of human rights has resulted in successful court cases where women human rights’ defenders and journalists who were sentenced to execution by the state were released. The case of Ms. Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, who was released in 2007 from Choobin Prison in Iran, where she had been imprisoned for ten years awaiting execution by stoning for adultery, reveals Shadi’s outstanding legal advocacy.

The bravery of Ms. Sadr’s activism and campaigning for women’s rights in Iran has not wavered despite her arrests in March 2007 and in July 2009, for her peaceful defence of women’s human rights. She bravely continues her work, in the unflinching belief that if people were given information about the realities of stoning and other manifestations of discrimination against women, they would change their views and that changes to the law would follow.

The granting of the Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award recognizes the invaluable activism of Ms. Sadr and of all women human rights activists in Iran and in the rest of the world. The award is also a boost for all those activists who protested peacefully for democracy after the electoral fraud in Iran and are now mercilessly prosecuted by the Iranian government. WLUML hopes that this award will grant Ms. Sadr personal safety and further support in her campaigns.

In solidarity,

Women Living Under Muslim Laws International Coordination Office

Four courageous and tireless advocates of human rights – from Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Russia – have been awarded the prestigious Alison Des Forges Defender Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said today. The four work to uphold freedom of expression, to protect women in conflict, and to ease the plight of political prisoners, despite threats and persecution from the authorities.

The awards are named for Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division for almost two decades, who was tragically killed in a plane crash in New York on February 12, 2009. Des Forges was the world’s leading expert on Rwanda, the 1994 genocide and its aftermath, and Human Rights Watch’s annual award honors her outstanding commitment to and defense of human rights.

The four winners of Human Rights Watch’s 2009 Alison Des Forges Defender Award for Extraordinary Activism are:
* Daniel Bekele, lawyer and activist from Ethiopia;
* Bo Kyi, co-founder of Burma’s Assistance Association of Political Prisoners;
* Elena Milashina, reporter for Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading independent newspaper; and
* Mathilde Muhindo, women’s rights activist working to stop sexual violence in Democratic Republic of Congo.

“These extraordinary individuals confront tremendous challenges every day, yet they work selflessly to end human rights violations and bring abusers to justice,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We hope this award, named for Alison Des Forges, will inspire and protect them as they struggle to uphold human rights in their countries.”

Human rights defenders are critical partners for Human Rights Watch staff conducting investigations in more than 80 countries around the world. The award winners will be honored at the 2009 Human Rights Watch Annual Dinners in Chicago, Geneva, Hamburg, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Toronto, and Zurich.

Daniel Bekele, Ethiopia
In the ever-shrinking space for freedom of expression in Ethiopia, Daniel Bekele, a prominent anti-poverty activist and human rights lawyer, has faced heavy-handed government repression. After leading a grass-roots effort to promote voter education and participation in Ethiopia’s controversial 2005 parliamentary elections, as well as election monitoring and reconciliation after the vote, Bekele was arrested and spent two-and-a-half years in prison on charges of inciting violence against the government. Human Rights Watch honors Bekele who, at great personal risk, challenges the Ethiopian government to uphold the civil and political rights that protect all people.

Bo Kyi, Burma
As a former political prisoner and co-founder of the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), Bo Kyi works tirelessly to secure the release of Burmese people who have been jailed for their political independence and activism. Over the last 20 years, Bo Kyi has demonstrated unfaltering courage, sharing his story and those of other political prisoners and exposing the Burmese military junta’s numerous abuses. Human Rights Watch honors Bo Kyi for his heroic efforts to speak out against Burmese repression and to advocate on behalf of those who have dared to criticize the military junta.

Elena Milashina, Russia
As a leading investigative journalist for Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s most prominent independent newspaper, Elena Milashina exposes the truth about human rights abuses and widespread government corruption. Despite Russia’s attempts to silence its critics and hide abuses, Milashina remains outspoken, publishing accounts of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and torture. She also continues to investigate the 2006 murder of her newspaper colleague and mentor Anna Politkovskaya, calling for accountability at the highest level. Human Rights Watch honors Milashina for her courage in confronting Russia’s deeply problematic human rights record.

Mathilde Muhindo, Democratic Republic of Congo
As director of the Olame Centre, a women’s rights organization, Mathilde Muhindo empowers women to fight against the pervasive discrimination and horrific sexual violence that are endemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She led a coalition of local women’s organizations to advocate successfully for a comprehensive law on sexual violence. Human Rights Watch honors Mathilde Muhindo for her tireless dedication to the safety, health, and rights of the often-forgotten women in eastern Congo.

Amira Hass of Israel is Lifetime Achievement Award winner

A Belarusian journalist who is frequently detained and subjected to all-night interrogations by police, a Cameroonian radio journalist whose broadcasts on human rights and press freedom have put her life at risk and an Iranian journalist whose reports about sensitive social and political issues have led to multiple arrests are recipients of this year’s International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Awards.

“These remarkable journalists have chosen to report the news in three countries where pursuit of the truth puts them at risk for arrest, physical attacks and even death,” said Judy Woodruff, chair of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards. “Still, they have consistently, for many years, chosen to risk their lives and livelihoods in pursuing stories that illuminate the lives of people in their countries and enlighten us all.”

Winners of the 2009 Courage in Journalism Awards are:

Iryna Khalip, 41, reporter and editor in the Minsk bureau of Novaya Gazeta. For more than 15 years, Khalip has been a journalist in Belarus, one of the most oppressive countries toward journalists in the world. After working at a succession of newspapers, only to see them closed by the government, she now works for Novaya Gazeta, one of the most independent newspapers in the former Soviet Union, and the newspaper of 2002 Courage Award winner Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in 2006. Khalip has been arrested, subjected to all-night interrogations and beaten by police, who keep her under constant surveillance.

Agnes Taile, 29, reporter for Canal 2 International, radio and television, Cameroon. Taile reports on human rights and press freedom, including unflinching stories on the ineffectiveness and corruption of government officials. In 2006, while she was a reporter for Sweet FM, Taile received threats demanding that she stop her pursuit of government corruption. She ignored the threats. Not long afterward, she was abducted from her home at knife point by three hooded men, then beaten and left for dead in a ravine. Her show was cancelled after the attack. After recovering, Taile was determined to keep working as a journalist and landed a new job with Canal 2 covering the northern provinces of Cameroon.

Jila Baniyaghoob, 38, freelance reporter and editor-in-chief of the website Kanoon Zanan Irani (Focus on Iranian Women), Iran. Baniyaghoob works in one of the most restrictive environments for both journalists and women in the world. Still, she has fearlessly reported on government and social oppression, particularly as they affect women. She has been fired from several jobs because she refuses to censor the subject matter of her reporting and several of her media outlets have been closed by the government. She has travelled throughout the Middle East, writing accounts of the lives of women and refugees during times of conflict. The topics of her reporting make her a target of the Iranian government. She has been beaten, arrested and imprisoned numerous times.

The IWMF also announced that it will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Amira Hass, 52, a reporter and columnist for Ha’aretz Daily, a newspaper based in Tel Aviv. For almost 20 years Hass has written critically about both Israeli and Palestinian authorities. She has demonstrated her ability to defy boundaries of gender, ethnicity and religion in her pursuit of the truth in her reporting. In covering the Palestinian Occupied Territories, her goal has been to provide her readers with detailed information about Israeli policies and especially that of restrictions of the freedom of movement.” For many years, she made her home first in Gaza City and then in Ramallah. In 2002 the Los Angeles Times reported that Hass “is the only Israeli Jew known to be living under Palestinian rule and one of a handful of Jewish reporters who still cross enemy lines for the Israeli media.”

Created in 1990, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist who has a pioneering spirit and whose determination has paved the way for women in the news media. Including this year’s award winners, 66 journalists have won Courage Awards and 18 journalists have been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The 2009 awards will be presented at ceremonies in New York on October 20 and in Los Angeles on October 28.

Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit

A new statue called Aspiration, depicting two women, one young and one older, mounting stairs was unveiled as a tribute to the work and struggles of the women of Cayman and to the future generations of women.

During a 90–minute ceremony, to the background sound of flags and bunting flapping noisily in the breeze, 15 women who had helped shape Cayman and who have served as inspiration for young women today were honoured with Spirit of Excellence Awards. Several of the awards were made posthumously and accepted by the awardees’ family members or descendents.

Those who received the Spirit of Excellence Awards were: Mary Genevieve Bodden, Olive Miller, Mary Lawrence, Adriannie Webb, Islay Leonie Conolly, Mary Isabel Powell, Beulah McLaughlin, Almeria Tomlinson, Dr. Margaret Leonie Hesla, Sybil Joyce Hylton, Clara Dicia Brown, Leila Ross–Shier, Vernice Zeta Hawkins, Mary Evelyn Wood, and Annie Huldah Bodden

Olympian sprinter Cydonie Mothersill, who reached the finals of the 200 metre sprint in the Olympic Games in Beijing last year, was awarded Sports Person of the Year, which was accepted on her behalf by her mother, Angela Whittaker.

Three other Caymanians – Andy Martin, Wanda Tatum and Diana Whittaker, were also given their Certificates and Badges of Honour. They had been named in the Queen’s Honours List and chose to receive their awards on Monday.

Governor Stuart Jack paid tribute to “the strong women of the Cayman Islands” who had played a major role in the country’s progress.

He pointed out that a higher proportion of women in Cayman hold more senior positions in public service than their counterparts in the UK.

He remembered the late Estella Scott–Roberts in his speech, saying Cayman had “lost a young and energetic advocate for equal treatment for women”.

Special mention was made by the governor and by Angela Martins. who officiated the ceremony, to Julia Hydes, who celebrated her 100th birthday this week.

On the other side of the age spectrum, John Gray Year 11 student Ginger Ebanks showed that young females in Cayman are not wasting their talents. She wowed the audience with her crystal–clear singing voice in her rendition of the Cayman National Song, accompanied by the Brass Band of Battle Creek, and later with The Wind Beneath My Wings, with fellow student Chevis Dilbert on saxophone.

While women have come a long way since the days of looking after their families while their husbands were away at sea, still more needs to be done to protect and enhance their rights, according to Health and Human Services Minister Anthony Eden.

Mr. Eden announced that the government is working toward introducing two new pieces of legislation, an anti–discrimination bill and a revised domestic violence bill.

A change in law 50 years ago brought women in Cayman the right to vote and stand for election. Monday’s ceremony celebrated that day.

Alongside the Aspiration monument, the names of all but eight of the 358 women who signed a petition demanding the equal right to vote on 29 May 1957 have been inscribed on a wall. The names of eight on the petition were lost when the document was damaged in a fire in Government House in 1972.

Descendants and relations of the women’s whose names are on the walls were invited to lay flowers immediately after the Heroes Day ceremony and scores of Caymanians ran their fingers over the wall, trying to find the names of mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters.

The Aspiration monument features the younger woman holding the world in her hands, with countries inlaid with caymanite.

The monument was made in just five months at the American Bronze Foundry in Sanford, Florida. It was shipped to Cayman last week and erected in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Among those at Monday’s ceremony were Roxie Bodden and Georgette Hurlston–Ebanks, both of whom signed the women’s voting rights petition. National Hero Sybil McLaughlin and women who had served as members of the Legislative Assembly over the years were also in attendance.

Minister Alden McLaughlin, who was instrumental in bringing about the day that celebrated the achievements of women said: “This day has been a long time coming… Too long. But this day, this National Heroes Day 2009, we raise our voice in praise of our women. This day we pay homage to the lives of those who have gone before and who inspired the next generation.”

The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation have 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 – Sapana Pradhan Malla – Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

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.”

Yanar Mohammed graduated from Baghdad University in 1984 and received a Master’s degree in Architecture in 1993. Although her work on behalf of Iraqi women has placed her life in danger, Yanar Mohammed continues to believe that the world that she and all Iraqi women are entitled to is a world worth fighting for. She is the founder of Defense of Iraqi Women’s Rights, which advocates full equality for Iraqi women through active involvement in political debate. In 2003, she co-founded Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq to help achieve full equality for women in post-war Iraq. The publisher of Al Mousawat, a newspaper calling for full equality for women, Mohammed has opened two women’s shelters (in Baghdad and Kirkuk) and several safe houses to protect women threatened by domestic abuse and what have been termed honor killings. The shelters have protected numerous women who, subject to fundamentalist practice and tribal law, face threats to their lives. Since August 2005, she has offered courses to instruct women activists in how to confront local tradition, tribalism, and religious intolerance. She dreams of giving a voice to Iraqi women through their own television channel, embodying a new wave of progressive feminism that can spread throughout the Middle East.
(A complete biography is available at

Sapana Pradhan Malla earned a Bachelor of Law degree from Tribhuvan University and a Masters of Law degree from Delhi University. A practicing lawyer before the Supreme Court of Nepal, she has been involved in almost all leading public litigation for equality in that country, including cases involving legalization of abortion, criminalization of marital rape, and equality in marriage and family law. Due in large part to her efforts, more than 64 discriminatory laws of Nepal have been struck down. The Human Trafficking Act that she helped draft has become a legal model for the region. Pradhan Malla was instrumental in securing the most recent legal reforms protecting the fundamental reproductive and property rights of women in Nepal. She has published extensively on the legal status of women in Nepal and has brought several landmark cases to Nepal’s Supreme Court. A member of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, she is a strong advocate of women’s participation in the political process and, as a result of her efforts and influence, women now make up one-third of the Assembly. She is dedicated to ensuring a comprehensive women’s rights agenda within the constitutional framework. Pradhan Malla is president of the Forum for Women, Law & Development, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in Nepal and protect and promote human rights through research and public education, advocacy, legal aid and litigation. She is also vice president of the Legal Aid Consultancy Center and promoter of the Public Interest Litigation Forum.
(A complete biography is available at

Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a criminologist, a clinical social worker, and a specialist in human rights and women’s rights. She initiated the first hotline for reporting abuse in the West Bank and Gaza at the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling. This center offers advocacy for Palestinian women in situations of domestic violence and the cultural practice of what has been termed honor killing. She consulted with Human Rights Watch on its most recent report on violence against Palestinian women in Israel and with the UNIFEM division of the United Nations. Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a Senior Lecturer of Criminology and Social Work at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a visiting Professor of Law and Women’s Studies at USC and UCLA in the United States. She conducted academic research on the multiple forms of violence inflicted upon Palestinian women and girls. A prolific author, Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian has written extensively on domestic violence, the criminal justice response to violence against Palestinian women, militarization and violence against women in conflict zones, child abuse, and women in Palestinian society. She has published over 40 journal articles and book chapters and has authored or coauthored three books, with a fourth book, Militarization and Violence Against Women in Conflict Zones: A Palestinian Case Study, due out in the fall of 2008.

(Complete biographies are available at

In addition to the cash award, Ms. Mohammed, Ms. Pradhan Malla, and Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian will each receive a gold medal.

The official citation reads:

The 2008 Gruber Women’s Rights Prize is proudly presented to: Yanar Mohammed, Sapana Pradhan Malla, and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, three activists devoted to enhancing women’s rights and empowering women under the most difficult conditions of armed conflict and war:

Yanar Mohammed, co-founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), for fighting tirelessly to stop the eradication of women’s rights in Iraq. OWFI is a women’s organization that has continued to speak out openly for women’s rights against all odds.

Sapana Pradhan Malla, a member of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, for fighting to include women’s human rights in the constitution and, as a member of the Forum for Women, Law & Development (FWLD), for leading the successful effort to decriminalize abortion and to criminalize marital rape.

Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a Palestinian feminist activist and researcher, for concentrating on sexual abuse and femicide, a term she coined for the abuse that puts women in a state of living death during times of war.

* * *

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.

Members of the committee that selected the 2008 Women’s Rights Prize recipients:

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, The New School – International Affairs, United States
Pinar Ilkkaracan, Women for Women’s Human Rights-New Ways, Turkey
Cecilia Medina Quiroga, University of Chile, Chile
Navanethem Pillay, International Criminal Court, The Hague
Peter Rosenblum, Columbia Law School, United States
Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International, United States
Sakena Yacoobi, Afghan Institute of Learning, Afghanistan

Laureates of the Gruber Foundation Women’s Rights Prize include:

Ms. Pinar Ilkkaracan – recognized both individually and for her leadership in two organizations that she co-founded; helped reform Turkish laws to advance gender equality and advocated for sexual and reproductive rights
Women for Women’s Human Rights – played a critical role in advancing women’s civil and reproductive rights and raising awareness about gender-based violence
The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies – helped shatter myths about customs and religious practices and united women’s rights advocates from 14 countries in an effort to protect women and girls

Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas (UNMG) – a leader in working toward peace-building and equitable participation in Guatemala
Sweatshop Watch – strong advocate for the economic and political rights of migrant workers in the US
Judge Cecilia Medina Quiroga – advanced the rights of women through international law

Shan Women’s Action Network – dedicated to ending the oppression of minority women along the Thai-Burma border
The Women’s League of Burma – a multi-ethnic umbrella organization committed to empowering women and enabling their participation in the democracy movement

Professor Sakena Yacoobi – founded a grassroots program within the International Rescue Committee that quadrupled the number of Afghan girls enrolled in school
Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) – provides health and human rights education to 350,000 women and girls in Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s refugee camps

Judge Navanethem Pillay – the first black woman to serve on the bench of the High Court of South Africa; strong advocate for human rights and women’s issues
Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe – an umbrella organization comprising over 40 women’s groups across Rwanda; dedicated to achieving peace and eradicating discrimination

A men’s group which has successfully reduced the incidence of domestic violence in the South West has won a government health award.

Based in Busselton, MATES picked the Healthier WA Award for its work counselling men who are violent towards their partners or family.

Rob Keelie is the founder of the group and he says that the $10,000 award will come in “very handy.”

As a self funded group, the fact that MATES has lasted five years is testament to the power of self respect and equality, says Rob.

MATES began out of “purely selfish reasons,” he says. Before moving to Busselton, Rob had attended anger management groups in Brisbane and wanted to retain those skills. “I set it up just to help a few guys out of my lounge at home and the moment I started, we had opened this big can of worms.”

Having been a perpetrator himself gives him an edge, says Rob. “I know all the excuses that guys use because I used them myself.” Part of his own problem was not understanding what he was doing was wrong, he says. “I was guilty of verbal and emotional abuse.”

Unable to control what he was thinking and feeling, Rob says he “just shot my mouth off at the wrong time.” There was no consideration for others.

Now he has all those excuses written down and in their place, something to combat them. Knowing what someone is going to say means that he’s able to confront someone, to have them dig a little deeper, says Rob. “I’m very good at body language and being able to read between the lines.”

As well anger management programs, MATES runs a 24-hour crisis phone line, emergency counselling and a cooling off house. Men can be fed, have a cup of tea or coffee and get some good advice, Rob explains.

That’s much better than going down to the pub, sitting on a stool in an alcoholic haze, listening to “some other idiot giving relationship advice”.

Talking to friends and relatives is not a good strategy either, he says. “They say what it is you need to hear to make you fee better.” The other person is often made out the villain. “In a lot of cases, that does a lot of harm.”

“Fantastic” is how Rob describes the assistance MATES receives from the police in Busselton and Dunsborough. “We are so lucky to have officers of their calibre,” he says. “Officers who want to help rather than lock up and throw away the key.”

Working together, MATES and the local police have been able to greatly reduce the number of revisits to domestic violence situations in the district, he notes.

The money will be great, laughs Rob, and if anyone wants to remember MATES in their will…

Posting moved to womensgrid: Funny Women Awards 2008

A Summer Institute/Training for Educators, Students, Human Service Professionals, Activists and Parents

July 8-11 2008 at Wheelock College, Boston.

For the 14th consecutive year, Wheelock College is offering a very popular summer institute on the role that the media (television, magazines, advertising, pornography, video games and music videos) plays in shaping our gender identity, our intimate relationships, our children’s lives, and ultimately our culture. The institute is taught by Dr Gail Dines, author of Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality, and Dr. Diane Levin, author of the forthcoming So Sexy So Soon.

Participants will learn:
o How media violence affects behavior and contributes to violence in society
o How media images perpetuate and legitimize sexism, racism, consumerism and economic inequality
o How political and economic forces shape the media
o How media affects children’s ideas about sexual behavior and relationships with others
o How to critically deconstruct media images and develop media literacy skills
o How to become active in advocacy, community building and grass roots organizing

As a way to accommodate the needs of the participants, this year two days of the institute will be split into the following tracks:
1. Fighting the porn culture: how to think about and organize against the increasing pornification of our society. Led by Dr. Gail Dines, with guest lectures by feminist educators and activists
2. Combating the hazards of media culture: how to work with children and teachers in a classroom setting.

o Price for non-credit institute: $475 (special rate for organizations sending more than one person)
o Price for three graduate credits: $2,025
o Price for single dorm room at Wheelock: $35 per night/double is $45 per room
o The institute runs from 9am-5pm, Tuesday through Friday, with optional evening events

To register
For fee-paying applicants only, please go to:

If you need to apply for a scholarship(*) to cover cost of the institute/training, don’t click on the link above. Instead, please write a one-paragraph application that includes the following:
o History of your involvement with these issues, if any
o Reasons you want to attend the institute/training
o What you hope to do in the future with the information

Please email your application to by May 15.

We will contact you with an answer by May 20th.

For everyone who needs a dorm room at the college, please tell us so we can reserve one for you.

(* Please note we have contacted SPC and they have confirmed that scholarship applications are open to those outside of the US, if you are interested in applying.)

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) in San Diego, California, is currently accepting applications for its Women PeaceMakers Program (WPM).

Application Deadline: May 23, 2008

The WPM program is designed for leaders from conflict-affected countries around the world who are transforming conflict and assuring gender-inclusion in post conflict recovery through in human rights advocacy and peace building efforts they lead. These are women whose stories and best practices will be shared internationally; they are women who will have a respite from the frontlines work they do.

Four Women PeaceMakers are selected each year to spend two months in residence at the Institute. They will receive a small stipend while having their unique peacemaking stories documented, through both film and narratives that will be available to inspire others around the world. Women PeaceMakers in residence will have the opportunity to engage with the community through a series of public panels and to meet with other activists and leaders involved in human rights, political action and peacemaking efforts.

The institute is also accepting applications for Peace Writers. Peace Writers document the stories of Women PeaceMakers for publication. Writers will interview the Women and engage in extensive research to become familiar with the histories of their conflicts and peacemaking efforts.

For more information about the program and an application please visit the IPJ web site at or contact Erika Lopez, Women PeaceMakers Program Officer, at

Humanity United and Ashoka’s Changemakers are launching a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day slavery.

Today over 27 million children and adults are in slavery or bonded labor around the world—more than any other period in human history. As one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, slavery remains largely hidden from the public eye and thrives on the rising global demand for inexpensive, unskilled labor and commercial sex.

“Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way” aims to find holistic solutions to modern-day slavery by recognizing individuals and organizations that raise awareness of the issue’s root causes, liberate those in bonded labor, and reintegrate former slaves into their communities.

The competition is hosted on

Funding will be awarded for the most innovative policy-level and grassroots models.

The Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize is awarded each year to commemorate the life and work of Emma Humphreys who tragically died, aged 30, in 1998. Emma was a writer, campaigner and survivor of male violence who fought an historic struggle to overturn a murder conviction in 1995, supported by Justice for Women and other feminist campaigners. The annual prize of £1,000 is awarded to an individual woman who has, through writing or campaigning, raised awareness of violence against women and children.

Alongside the individual prize, the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize judges choose the recipient of a group award, established to recognise the unsung work done by many women’s groups and organisations. This award, while it does not at this time carry any financial reward, marks the outstanding contribution of women’s organisations who work in this embattled area and whose creativity and resourcefulness have resulted in developments that combat the prevalence of male violence.

Criteria to consider in nominating a woman for the individual prize:

* The individual woman should be someone who, through writing or campaigning, has sought to raise awareness of violence against women and children

* While she may have done this work as part of her paid employment, the judges will give priority to those nominees whose campaigning or writing has clearly extended outside of the paid work environment, or been conducted on a voluntary basis

* Nominators should ensure that the supporting statement focuses on the achievements of the individual woman herself rather than describing the achievements of the project/organisation she works for

* Judges will give due consideration to the issue around which the individual woman has been working, and may prioritise a nomination that they deem to highlight a pressing political imperative for feminist campaigning in the present

* In completing the supporting statement, nominators should attempt to point out the particular and unique aspects of the work which is commended in the nomination; it is not necessary to provide a full biography

* Nominators should be confident that, should their nominee be awarded the prize, she would be willing to participate in some related media interviews or events, in discussion with the organisers of the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize

Criteria to consider in nominating a women’s group or organisation for the group award:

* The group or organisation should have done important work in raising awareness of violence against women and children, and have sought to bring about change

* It would be helpful if the nominator could draw attention to any particular obstacles the group has encountered

* The nominator should try to give examples of any initiatives which best exemplify the resourcefulness of the group or organisation in carrying forward work which seeks to combat violence against women and children

* It would be helpful if the nominator could indicate, where possible, how effective certain strategies or developments adopted by the group have been in combating the prevalence of such violence

* The nominator should give a brief explanation of the funding status of the group, and how the award might be used to help assist the group in future

To download a nomination form go to

Read about previous years’ winners at

The Sheila McKechnie Awards are an annual bursary scheme for emerging and grassroots campaigners. Campaigners are a powerful force for change in our society but we know that the reality is often hard work and a lot of frustration. Our awards have been created to equip campaigners with the skills that they need to be successful. We focus on the ingredients for campaigning success and seek to share them with campaigners across the United Kingdom.

See full details at original posting Sheila McKechnie Awards 2008 for emerging and grassrootscampaigners

Sheila McKechnie Awards 2008

The Sheila McKechnie Awards are an annual bursary scheme for emerging and grassroots campaigners. Campaigners are a powerful force for change in our society but we know that the reality is often hard work and a lot of frustration. Our awards have been created to equip campaigners with the skills that they need to be successful. We focus on the ingredients for campaigning success and seek to share them with campaigners across the United Kingdom.

In 2008 we will be making 12 awards across key fields of social action Categories in 2008 have been sponsored by the following organisations / individuals.
* Conflict Resolution sponsored by Peace Direct
* Consumer Action sponsored by Which?
* Economic Justice sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Foundation / Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
* Environment sponsored by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
* Global Action in memory of Guy Hughes
* Health & Social Care sponsored by Age Concern
* International Award sponsored by Concern Worldwide
* London Social Justice sponsored by City Parochial Foundation
* Shout Out! Award sponsored by City Bridge Trust
* Social Inclusion sponsored by Shelter
* Transport sponsored by Simon Norton
* Young Activist sponsored by Foyer Federation / YMCA England

The package of support we offer is completely bespoke to the individual, comprising an initial assessment; one-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions; development workshops; and shadowing opportunities

The awards do not offer cash prizes but focus on sharing the key ingredients for campaigning success by drawing on the expertise of experienced campaigners and using a model of action learning to share knowledge and acquire skills.

Who are the Awards for?

The awards scheme has been developed specifically for campaigners new to the field or operating with very little resources to equip them with the skills they need to make a greater impact and achieve real change.

The awards are for people who want to make a greater impact with their campaigns, whether it be to change policy or raise their issue’s profile at a local, national or international level. You could be working as a campaigner in a national pressure group or campaigning charity or you may be working alone or in an organisation where campaigning is a very new activity. The awards can also help you if you are campaigning on a voluntary basis in your spare time. Many of our award winners have been volunteers and we have helped them secure new resources to support their campaigns and focus on how they can use their limited time to best effect. (In the last 2 years, we have awarded 49 beneficiaries of which 34 have been women)

What will I learn?

The awards can help develop a campaign strategy, examine the impact that you have made so far or consider how your can build support for campaigning activity in your wider organisation. You will get direct advice from people who have a track record of running successful campaigns and others who have a strong insight into how policymakers approach key decisions.

The awards are also a chance for you to learn new skills & tactics. For example, you might have a lot of experience in media work but not know about the tactics necessary to influence ministers in Whitehall. You might want to expand your skills in specialist areas, such as understanding the campaigning opportunities present in the Freedom of Information Act. The awards are also a chance to get an independent assessment of your campaign, considering areas like how you can expand your alliances and identify how much progress you have made towards achieving your objectives.

The awards can help you get a better understanding of how government works. For example, previous award winners recieved public affairs coaching from experts at AS Biss & Co and were given the opportunity to shadow ministers relevant to their campaign.

The awards will put you in contact with campaigners who share similar challenges to you but work in other sectors. We recognise that there are many opportunities to work together across issues and sectors and discuss challenges and successes.

The awards provide opportunities for you to develop skills that are relevant not simply to the campaign you are working on now but to campaigns that you may work on in future.

What’s the time commitment involved?

The programme runs over a period of 6 months. However, because the awards programme is bespoke to each campaigner, the support package is very flexible to your needs and timescale will be determined in consultation with you.

Applications for the Foundation’s awards scheme can be made by downloading a form from the or by emailing


(Originally posted at

London electricians Harland & Voss are currently inviting applications for their annual International Womens’ Day Donation which this year is worth £500.

Any registered charity providing a direct service to London women to benefit their health, safety or wellbeing is eligible to apply. Last year’s recipient was Islington Women’s Aid.

Priority is given to charities with an annual turnover of under £500,000 serving women in North, West and Central London. Applications should be received before 29 February 2008.

For more details, or to apply for the Donation, visit the company’s website at