Laureates 2018

ARYAL Indira - Palpa, Nepal

Working through life’s toughest challenges to becoming an important agent of social change

This outstanding and incredibly courageous woman (40), nominated by Apsara Chapagain, former WWSF prize winner from Nepal 2017) has been essentially active in the field of women’s rights, in recent years asradio programmer and more recently as station manager of a rural radio station, Radio Lumbini. In a country, which still has very few and poor road communications, the radio is one of the main instruments of change in rural areas. She has actively promoted rural women’s empowerment programs on the radio.

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Asociación de Mujeres Defensores de Vida (AMDV) - Honduras

The courage of fighting for women

AMDV has been an innovative, trail-blazing organization working in very difficult circumstances in one of the most unequal, violent and corrupt countries in the world, where 17% of the population lives in extreme poverty (less than US$1.25 a day).

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ASSOCIATION OF PRO-ACTIVE RURAL WOMEN OF AQUITANIA (ASOMUC) - Colombia

A group of rural women’s «divine madness» pays off

A group of rural women’s “divine madness”:

Aquitania is a municipality with an economy based on the production and marketing of long onions, of which they are the main producer in the country. These have “colonized” the whole region, and in some neighborhoods there are no longer any green areas for children to play or adults to go for walks. This monoculture has only profited a few large landowners, but in no way has it benefitted the quality of life in rural areas, and has even generated very negative impact on Lake Tota due to the amount of fertilizers and pesticides used for this cultivation.

Read more: ASSOCIATION OF PRO-ACTIVE RURAL WOMEN OF AQUITANIA (ASOMUC) - Colombia

AZIZI Ziba Sistan and Baluchestan province, Iran

A powerful role model for women’s emancipation

The Laureat (35) is a teacher who has been appointed for her tireless leadership for the education of students in rural areas, especially girls. She has also been addressing and raising awareness on issues like child marriage in her community, where it is still widespread.

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BIRUBALA Rabha - Assam, India

A COURAGEOUS OPPONENT of witchhunting

Although this candidate (69) has already been widely acclaimed andhonoured, her nomination is more than merited and would draw attention to what is still a major issue in the Third World and costing worldwide many lives of rural women: sorcery.

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CHAPPAZ Marie-Thérèse Fully, Valais, Switzerland

Passion and creativity create miracles

Marie Thérèse Chappaz (49) from Fully, in the Valais, combines perfectly and in a rare manner the three main criteria of this prize: creativity, innovation and courage.  In 20 years, this exceptionally dedicated winegrower has imposed herself as the reference par excellence of Swiss wines for the quality of her wines. The Wine Advocate, possibly the ultimate reference in this field, gave her 99 out of a 100 for two of her wines. She is also a person of great generosity and authenticity that she combines with a disarming modesty.

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MOSQUERA María Adriana - Los Cerrillos rural community, Colombia

Boundless creativity in changing regional food customs

This is unquestionably one of the most creative and innovative nominations we have received since the prize was created.

The project centers on creating a school garden adapted to climate change, which has had a significant impact on the local community, working with preschoolers in a rural farming community. The goals of the project which have already been reached are to contribute to the future and vitality of rural life in the community through awakening a passion for sustainable agriculture and local and nutritious food among young children who have already started changing eating habits in their homes.

Read more: MOSQUERA María Adriana - Los Cerrillos rural community, Colombia

RAQUEC YAQUí Elvia Leticia Aldea Cruz de Santiago, Tecpan, Guatemala

A powerful promoter of Mayan women’s rights

Elvia (34), a woman of Maya Kaqchikel ascent, grew up in a small rural community. At 12, her father took her out of school as she was a girl. Shehowever vowed to show her parents and the community that women, just as men, can study and become professionals. She helpedpay her studies and in addition supported her family by working on the side.

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SAVARIRAJ Pushpa - Tamil Nadu, India

A pioneer of organic cultivation among tribals

Sister Pushpa (35) is a member of St. Joseph’s Hill Tribe Development Social Service and Orphanage Society and is a leader and motivator of Tribal Women’s Self-Help groups. She has been working with these women since 2008. As a dynamic and talented trainer and resource person who works especially with women and girls, she has made a significant impact. She belongs to the Medical Mission Sisters.

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VALDEPEÑA RAMIREZ Aurora & CASTELLANCA RUíZ Teresa Huexca, Morelos, Mexico

An epic fight against a gigantic and destructive barrage

We are suggesting the prize be split between these two indigenous women who are involved in the same struggles against a huge thermo-electrical station being implemented in the region and which has been creating total havoc both on the environment and food chain and in the social structure of the community.

Read more: VALDEPEÑA RAMIREZ Aurora & CASTELLANCA RUíZ Teresa Huexca, Morelos, Mexico