Women of Europe Award Ceremony
On 9 May 2018 the European Movement Germany (EBD) awarded this year’s “Women of Europe” prize to journalist and activist Düzen Tekkal, for her commitment to Yazidi men and women, and her dedication to diversity, integration and the protection of minorities.
Germany’s Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner (CDU) stated that Tekkal “represents the building blocks of Europe – democracy, participation, rule of law and tolerance”. In her speech, the minister mentioned her friendship to the awardee and emphasised Tekkal’s courageousness, which led her to work as a journalist in war zones, an activist for war victims and her campaigning against extremism in Germany. Later, the president of the Women of Europe Award, Gudrun Schmidt-Kärner, stressed that Düzen Tekkal takes an important stand for European values through her work.
With her work, which was being honored by the award, Tekkal wants to be a role model for girls and women that want to shape Europe. She wittily referred to Greek mythology, more specifically to the story in which the brave ancient princess named the continent: “It’s no coincidence that Europe is a woman”. Tekkal proclaimed her fascination for the European project that is exemplary for peace and freedom, hope and integration. But also freedom has to be learnt, thinks Tekkal: “Be more courageous and determined. Most important in politics is courage.”
The daughter of Yazidi parents from Hanover, Tekkal studied political science and literary science and worked as a TV journalist, author and war reporter. Apart from numerous journalistic contributions, Tekkal published the book “Germany is threatened – Why we need to defend our values” in 2016. Tekkal founded the non-profit organization “HAWAR.help”, through which she provides important humanitarian aid. In a recently launched project – and in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – HAWAR.help empowers women that used to live in IS captivity and re-integrates them into society.
Throughout the evening, speeches were given by Dr. Linn Selle, presidential candidate for the European Movement Germany, Katarina Wolf from the board of the EBD and Helene Banner, political adviser of the Representation of the European Commission in Germany. The musical program of the evening was provided by the RAHÎ group. Amongst the 150 guests were members of the Women of Europe network, media representatives and the family of the awardee.
You can view photos from the award ceremony here.