The Women of Europe Awards 2017
Brussels, 29 November 2017
Tonight the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby hosted the second edition of the Women of Europe Awards.
The awards are handed out annually to honour women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity as the role of women in the European project remains largely unrecognised. The awards highlight the contribution of women in promoting and advancing European issues, and to increase their presence and involvement in debates about Europe and its future.
The European Movement and the European Women’s Lobby are happy to announce the winners of our four categories:
Woman in Power:
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security
Woman in Action:
Adriana Lettrari,Co-Founder of the Third Generation of Eastern Germany Network
Woman in Business:
Melody Hossaini, Founder and CEO of InspirEngage International
Woman in Youth Activism:
Mina Jaf, Founder and Executive Director of Women Refugee Route
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, who was the Chair of the jury said: “The Women of Europe Awards are promoting women who take action to help other people follow their dreams. It is an honour for me to chair the jury this year and to show my support for their work to improve Europe.”
As a message to the audience of the awards ceremony, Federica Mogherini said: “I would like to thank you for this prize but also for giving a voice to some extraordinary women from all walks of life. They are a source of inspiration for all of us, and for myself personally.”
On receiving her award, Adriana Lettrari said: “I was born in East Germany and spent my early years with limited freedom. I am therefor especially pleased to be able to stand for a young, free and committed generation in Europe and the world. Europe is our home and the world is our space for thought and action. Our reality is further away than the place where we are right now. For us, diversity is our everyday life. We meet differences and unpredictable events with curiosity, not with fear. We are used to change.”
Melody Hossaini, winner of the new Woman in Business Category added: “I am honoured to accept the ‘Woman in Business’ award as part of the Women of Europe Awards 2017- thank you! Women are changing the landscape of business with social enterprise – doing well by doing good, and I am so lucky to call this my job. At InspirEngage, we will keep working hard to develop human potential to create impact.”
Mina Jaf, the winner of our other new category ‘Woman in Youth Activism’, which is in collaboration with the European Youth Forum, said: “You don’t have to be old to be a role model or an inspiration. Young women and girls, we are not here to follow, we are here to lead. We are active in making the future more feminist and equal for all women.”
Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General of the European Movement International said the following on the awards: “We want to celebrate the inspirational and powerful leadership women offer in European politics, business and society at large and show that prejudice and discrimination have no place in today’s Europe. We are surrounded by true role models and we want to stand up and applaud both those women who are in the spotlight and those who are not for the great contribution they make in promoting European values. The story of Europe is incomplete without the women who write it, day in and day out. With these awards we want to recognise the role they play and say a big ‘Thank you’.”
Joanna Maycock, Secretary General of the Europan Women’s Lobby explained: “Gender equality in Europe has stagnated and even gone backwards in some areas. Recently, data of the European Institute for Gender Equality 2017 Index (GEI) showed that women are still very much treated as second-class citizens in Europe. It is time for a reinvigorated political impetus to put women’s rights and gender equality at the centre of the EU project. It is time for urgent action: on European and member state level. The Women of Europe Awards are a perfect opportunity to bring women’s voices into the heart of the political discussion about the future of Europe.”
The European Movement is the largest pan-European network of pro-European organisations. It is present in over 30 countries and encompasses 36 international associations, bringing together European civil society, business, trade unions, NGOs, political parties, local authorities and academia. Founded nearly 70 years ago, we have continuously advocated in favour of European cooperation and integration, based on the principles of peace, democracy, liberty, solidarity, equality, justice, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Today the European Movement seeks to provide a platform to encourage and facilitate the active participation of citizens and stakeholders from a cross-section of sectors in the development of European solutions to our common challenges. We offer thought leadership on the issues that confront Europe; we seek to inform the debates on our Union’s future, involve citizens and stakeholders in the decisions that affect them and influence policy-makers in favour of an open, inclusive, transparent and united Europe
Lucinda Pearson, Press and Communications Manager
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