These prizes (US$1,000 per laureate), awarded since 1994 by the Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) - an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) working towards the empowerment of women and children - aim to honour creative and courageous women and women's groups around the world for their contributions to improving the quality of life in rural communities. The prizes are focused on drawing international attention to the laureates' contributions to sustainable development, household food security, and peace, thus generating more recognition and support for their projects. About 10 prizewinners will again be selected in 2015 and announced to the media on October 15: International Day of Rural Women
Nominees should be women, or groups of women, currently active in rural life whose efforts have not yet been acknowledged by other awards. They may not nominate themselves.
The nominating organisation or individual must have direct experience of the nominee's work. The nominator may not nominate a family member or be a member of the nominated organisation; nor can an organisation nominate its senior officer (i.e. founder, president, etc.). No more than 3 nominees may be presented by the same person/organisation in a given year. The nominator commits to organising an award ceremony if its nominee is selected and to invite the media.
The long-term impact of the Prize will depend on the integrity of the nominators and the quality of their nominations. The Prize is an award for successful accomplishments rather than a fund for future projects. The nominee's history (2-3 pages) should demonstrate the creativity, courage, and sometimes sacrifice of the nominee in her efforts at the grassroots level to improve life in rural communities. Descriptions should be as specific as possible. Any of the following elements should be emphasised:
- Exceptional courage and perseverance in improving rural life
- Creativity in the approach
- Preservation of and respect for the environment
- Continuing impact on the community
Nominations must include: an original signed letter of nomination indicating how the nominator knows the nominee and for how long; biographical data on the nominee; a detailed history of the nominee's creative project; 2 original signed endorsement letters; if possible, additional supporting materials such as newspaper articles and publications; and a few photographs showing the nominee(s) for possible publication.
Emails to The Communication Initiative on January 16 2013, February 3 2014, and February 8 2015; and the WWSF website, January 31 2013, February 4 2014, and February 9 2015.