€300,000 Gender Equality Prize awarded to non-profit organisation

Equality Now has managed to change more than 50 discriminatory laws in a number of countries.

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Recipients of 2019 International Gender Equality Prize, Tampere, 2nd December 2019 / Credit: VNK

Finland’s €300,000 International Gender Equality Prize has been given this year to Equality Now, a non-profit organisation.

At a ceremony in Tampere on Monday afternoon, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist (SFP) gave the prize to Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now.

In a statement, Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) said that gender equality has been a conscious political decision that has made Finland “one of the most successful countries in the world on many levels.”

“We believe it helps societies to succeed. With the help of the prize, Finland wants to bring about actions that will accelerate progress for gender equality around the world” the PM adds.

Equality Now was established in 1992 and has managed to change more than 50 discriminatory laws in a number of countries. Although the organisation works locally, it has also impacted international legislation on human trafficking, female genital mutilation and child marriages.

“Equality for women and girls is the solution to some of the biggest challenges the world is facing today – peace and security, poverty eradication and climate change. In addition to being the right and just thing to do ,t is also the smartest investment for humanity” says Equality Now’s Yasmeen Hassan.

This year the Gender Equality Prize committee received 300 proposals from more than 60 countries. The jury is headed by foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) and also includes Eva Biaudet (SFP) and Finland’s first female prime minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki.

The prize is given every two years, with the inaugural prize in 2017 controversially given to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who directed the money to a Nigerien organisation that works to stop domestic violence.

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