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Martha Farrell Award Ceremony

07 Apr 2017  --  07 Apr 2017

New Delhi, India


Individuals and organisations working on the issues of women’s empowerment and gender equality got an opportunity to be recognised through the Martha Farrell Award for Excellence in Women’s Empowerment. An annual award, instituted to honour the legacy of Dr. Martha Farrell, it recognises and celebrates mid-career individuals and organisations that have made valuable contributions in their area of work relating to gender equality and women’s empowerment. These individuals and organisations can be part of government, business, industry or civil society.

The award is given under two categories in recognition of commitment, leadership and innovation in gender equality and women’s empowerment in India:

• Most promising individual (any gender) who has worked on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment consistently.
• Best organisation for gender equality for implementing practices which create gender sensitive and secure workplaces.

Winner of the Most Promising Individual in 2017 was Rakhi Gope, a community worker from Alipurduar in West Bengal.

Winner of the Best Organisation for Gender Equality in 2017 was Majlis Legal Centre, Mumbai.

In November 2016, the Martha Farrell Award for Excellence in Women’s Empowerment was instituted by Rizwan Adatia Foundation (RAF) in collaboration with PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia) . The nomination process began in December 2016 and concluded on January 20, 2107. After a rigorous process of nomination and due diligence, a jury of eminent personalities selected two winners, one in each category, who are going to be felicitated on 7 April 2017 in New Delhi. The six jury members are:

• Shabana Azmi, noted artist, actor and social activist
• Kamla Bhasin, eminent gender equality activist, social scientist and author
• Anuradha Das Mathur, Founding Dean of the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women and Founder-Director of 9.9 Media
• Sushma Nath, India’s first female Finance Secretary, presently member of the Finance Commission
• Justice (Retd.) Ajit Prakash Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi/Madras High Courts and Chairperson of the Law Commission
• Anshul Tewari, media entrepreneur, and founder and editor-in-chief of Youth Ki Awaaz (YKA), India’s largest online platform for youth voices on social concerns and issues of importance

“Recognising inspiring interventions will help support future practice and replication,” says Dr Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, PRIA.

Mr. Rizwan Adatia, Founder Chairman, RAF, said, “It is an immense pleasure for us to associate with PRIA in carrying forward the legacy of late Dr. Martha Farrell. The award aligns with our fundamental belief of gender equality, recognising and celebrating the incredible achievement of individuals as well as institutions towards creating a gender enabling and equal environment.”

“The institution of this Award is the best tribute possible to Martha. It will recognise and support the work of many young feminists and their organisations and thus lead to the realisation of Martha's dreams,” said Kamala Bhasin, eminent gender equality activist and jury member.

Dr Martha Farrell was a passionate civil society leader, renowned and respected in India and around the world, for her work on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Martha’s crusade for gender equality was practiced in her everyday life – with family, friends, colleagues and at work (#FeminismInEverydayLife). Boys and men, she believed, need to learn new attitudes and behaviours that support gender equality and women’s empowerment. She undertook pioneering work on sexual harassment in workplaces in India and also trained thousands of grassroots women leaders for local governance. Martha was among 14 people killed in a terrorist attack on a guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 13, 2015, where she had gone to conduct a gender training workshop with the Aga Khan Foundation. The Martha Farrell Foundation has been set up to carry forward, with commitment and excellence, the key principles and ideals for gender equality and women’s empowerment that Martha lived and worked with.


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