The prize recognises, as the organisers say, “a distinguished defender and builder of equality.” The inaugural award winner is Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany since 2005.
This time the prize money totalled 150,000 euros. Merkel decided to contribute the sum to a nongovernmental organisation in Niger called SOS Femmes et Enfants Victimes de Violence Familiale (SOS Women and Children Victims of Domestic Violence, known by its French-language abbreviation SOS FEVVF). The way the prize works, with the winner directing the money to a cause, allows the award to achieve a far-reaching, sustained effect.
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