Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life

by the Women’s World Summit Foundation WWSF.

Nomination Guidelines: Awarded since 1994 by the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) – an international NGO for the empowerment of women and children – the Prize ($500 each) annually honors women and women’s groups exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment in improving the quality of life in rural communities. The Prize aims to draw international attention to the laureates’ contributions to sustainable development, household food security and peace, thus generating more recognition and support for their projects. While rural women are vital in providing examples of sound practice in rural communities, they still do not have to full access tools needed for development, such as education, credit, land rights and participation in decision-making. By highlighting creative development models, innovations and experiences enhancing the quality of life in rural areas, WWSF hopes to participate in addressing the eradication of extreme poverty and help arrest the drift to urban areas.

ELIGIBILITY: Nominees should be women, or groups of women, currently active in rural life whose efforts have not yet been acknowledged by other awards. They may not nominate themselves. The nominating organisation or individual must have direct experience of the nominee’s work. The nominator may not nominate a family member, be a member of the nominated organisation, nor can an organisation nominate its senior officer (i.e. founder, president etc.). No more than 3 nominees may be presented by the same person/organisation in a given year. The nominator commits to organising an award ceremony if its nominee is selected and to invite the media.

NOMINATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: A signed letter of nomination indicating how the nominator knows the nominee and for how long. Biographical data on the nominee (full name, age, education, place of work, background) and a detailed history of the nominee’s creative project (written by the nominator) including her motivation, innovative aspects, any obstacles overcome, and the impact in the community. Nominations must specify whether the nominee has received or is currently being nominated for other awards. One or two endorsement letters from organisations or individuals other than the nominator and, if possible, additional supporting materials such as newspaper articles or publications. A few good labeled photographs of the nominee(s) for possible publication

CRITERIA: The long-term impact of the Prize will depend on the integrity of the nominators and the quality of their nominations. The Prize is an award for successful accomplishments rather than a fund for future projects. The nominee’s history (2-3 pages) should demonstrate the creativity, courage and sometimes sacrifice of the nominee in her efforts at the grass roots level to improve life in rural communities. Descriptions should be as specific as possible. Any of the following elements should be emphasised:

  • Exceptional courage and perseverance in improving rural life
  • Creativity in the approach
  • Preservation of and respect for the environment
  • Continuing impact on the community

Laureates are selected by an international jury composed of WWSF Board of directors and announced officially each year on 30 August, and celebrated on October 15 – World Rural Women’s Day – at a special award ceremony in Geneva. Several prizewinners are invited to attend the celebration personally. The Women’s World Summit Foundation has a commitment to annually award 30 or more creative rural women or women’s groups around the world (179 awarded to-date).

International Prize Jury: Filomina Chioma Steady (USA/Sierra Leone); Munira N.A. Al-Nahed (Saudi Arabia); Ela Bhatt (India); Saïda Benhabyles (Algeria); Gulzar Samji (Canada); Asha Kambon (Trinidad & Tobago); Elly Pradervand (Switzerland/Germany); Wu Qing (China).

Prize Nomination Form: download here.

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