Awarded since 1994 by WWSF Women’s World Summit Foundation – an international, non-profit, humanitarian NGO, serving the implementation of women and children’s rights and the UN development agenda – the Prize (US$ 1000 per laureate) honors women and women’s groups around the world exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment for the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities (452 prizes awarded so far).
The Prize aims to draw international attention to laureates’ contributions to sustainable development, food security and peace, thus generating recognition and support for their initiatives and projects. While rural women are vital in providing examples of sound practices in their communities, they still do not have full access to tools needed for development, such as education, credit, land rights and participation in decision making. By highlighting and awarding creative development leaders and their work, innovations and experiences enhancing the quality of rural life, WWSF participates in empowering rural women in their contribution to end rural poverty, improve gender equality, and advance women’s rights to peace and well-being.
- Nominees should be women and women’s groups currently active in rural life whose efforts have not yet been acknowledged by other awards. They may not nominate themselves.
- The nominating organization 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 organization, nor can an organization nominate its senior officer (i.e. founder, president etc.). No more than 3 candidates may be presented by the same person/organization in the same year. The nominator commits, if possible, to organize an award ceremony if the candidate is selected for the Prize and invites the local and/or national media.
- An original 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.
- At least two original and signed endorsement letters from organizations or individuals other than the nominator and, if possible, additional supporting materials such as newspaper articles or publications.
- A few labelled photographs clearly showing the candidate for possible publication
The long-term impact of the Prize depends 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 in her efforts at the grass roots to improve life in rural communities. Descriptions should be as specific as possible.
Any of the following elements should be emphasized:
- Exceptional courage and perseverance in improving rural life
- Creativity in the approach
- Preservation of and respect for the environment
- Continuing impact on the community
- Supporting the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals
- Actively participating, if possible, in the annual WWSF 17 Days Campaign for the Empowerment of rural women and their communities 1-17 October with one or several topics.
Prize laureates are selected by an international Jury composed of WWSF Board of Directors; are announced officially in October, and celebrated in their countries on 15 October – International Day of Rural Women. WWSF has a commitment to award annually between 5-10 creative rural women and women’s groups around the world.
How to Apply?
- Applicants can apply for the fill the nomination form available here.
- Nomination materials should arrive no later than 30 April through the post only.
- Address: WWSF Women’s World Summit Foundation PO. BOX 5490 1211 Geneva 11, Switzerland