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close this bookWomen's World Summit Foundation and Prizes for Women's Creativity in Rural Life (WWSF, 40 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOpen Letter to Rural Women of the World: Human Rights for all Rural Women
View the documentWords of Encouragement on the occasion of World Rural Women's Day - 15th October 1997
View the documentBackground of World Rural Women's Day
View the documentAbout the day and ideas for activities: each year on the 15th October
View the documentAbout the ''PRIZE for women's creativity in rural life'' ©
View the documentPrizes for women's creativity in rural life - 111 laureates and what they did
Open this folder and view contentsPresentation of 36 Laureates ''PRIZE for women's creativity in rural life'' 1998
View the documentPartial list of women's groups, organizations, governments, UN representatives, NGOs co-celebrators of World Rural Women's Day in 1997
View the documentWorld Fund for the Dignity of Children: to help end their sexual exploitation and educate to prevent such practices*

About the ''PRIZE for women's creativity in rural life'' ©

Purpose of the Prize
Conceptual framework
Nomination guidelines
International Prize Jury
Rural Women's Hall of Fame

Purpose of the Prize

Created in 1994 by the Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) - an international coalition for the future of women and children - the prize awards annually outstanding women and women's groups from around the world who exhibit exceptional creativity and courage in improving the quality of live in rural communities. With annual awards of $ 500 each to 30 or more rural women leaders, the prize aims to draw international attention to the laureates' contributions to sustainable development and household food security.

Conceptual framework

"...Rural women the world over are an integral and vital force in the development processes that are the key to socio-economic progress. Rural women form the backbone of the agricultural labour force accross much of the developing world and produce 35 - 45% of the Gross Domestic Product and well over 50% of the developing world's food. Yet, over half a billion rural women are poor and lack access to resources and markets..." (Geneva Declaration)

The Prize program contributes to increase the momentum for bringing poor rural women out of obscurity, widen the circle of consultation regarding their needs and deeds, and generate more recognition and support for their projects. While rural women and women's groups are vital in providing examples of good practice in rural communities, there is to date no real acknowledgment of what they themselves can offer in terms of creative solutions to end their poverty. WWSF aims with this prize to highlight creative development models and processes, innovations and experiences enhancing rural people's lives, particiate in addressing the eradiciation of extreme poverty, and help arrest the dirft to urban areas.


WWSF has a commitment to award annually thirty or more creative and committed rural women or women's groups in different regions of the world with a cash award of $ 500 each, thus demonstrating our solidarity with the more than 550 million poor rural women and their children who constitute the majority of the poorest of the poor. This sum represents often more than twice the annual income of rural women living in the least advanced countries. Prize candidates must be currently active in rural life, and not have received yet any recognition for their efforts. Candidates cannot nominate themselves nor be nominated by members of their family. Nominations can be submitted by organizations, women's groups or individuals who have a direct experience of the candidate's work. The quality of nominations we receive, and the long term impact of the Prize awards, necessarily depend first and foremost on the integrity of the nominators and their compliance with nomination guidelines.

Nomination guidelines

Nominations and accompanying materials must demonstrate the candidate's creativity and courage carried out at the grass roots, aiming at improving the quality of life in rural communities. Nomination must be received no later than 31th of March of each year and be addressed to the:

Prize Administrator - Women's World Summit Foundation
P.O.Box 2001, 1211 Geneva 1, Switzerland
Fax (..41 22) 738.82.48 - Email:

Nomination letters (max 3 pages) should highlight how long the nominator has been aware of the candidate's contributions and any significant obstacles overcome by her/their efforts. Detailed personal information, educational and family background, and a brief history of how the candidate began doing creative development work, is essential. Nominations must specify whether the candidate has received or is currently being nominated for other awards. A complete nomination, one or tow letters of support, if possible, one or tow photographs, age and other additional information which describes the candidate's work are required for the selection process, by the Jury.


Prize awards are sponsored by donors from all regions and walks of life. Contributions can be sent directly to the UBS SA, P.O. Box, 1211 GENEVA 2, in favor of Women's World Summit Foundation - Prize account No. C8-112,823.1. We thank you in advance for your support in favor of creative and courageous rural women and their families around the world.

International Prize Jury

· Filomina Steady (USA/Sierra Leone)
· Farida Allaghi (Saudi Arabia)
· Ela Bhatt (India)
· Therezinha Fram (Brazil)
· Margaret Fulton (Canada)
· Jill Jordan (Australia)
· Elly Pradervand (Switzerland/Germany)
· Wu Qing (China)