We are proud to announce our three winners of the first edition of our Francophone Prize for Gender Equality, 2020 : 1) Fela RAZAFINJATO, activist for the rights of people with disabilities; 2) Wilhelmine NTAKEBUKA, activist for women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and 3) Essivi ACAKPO ADRA, climate justice activist.
XOESE, The Francophone Women’s Fund created the Francophone Prize for Gender Equality in 2020. This prize aims to recognize the extraordinary work of Francophone activists, often in the shadows, and increase the visibility of their exceptional achievements .
After studying numerous files, we are proud to announce our three winners of the first edition:
First Prize Winner
Fela RAZAFINJATO is an activist for the rights of people with disabilities. She is the pioneer of Law No. 97-044 for people with disabilities in Madagascar, a law that recognizes the rights of people with disabilities to health, education, employment and vocational training, and leisure. This new law has made it possible to amplify the movement for the rights of people with disabilities, hence the birth of the COPH (Collective of Organizations working for People with Disabilities), a national structure which brings together associations.
She created the Centre Sembana Mijoro which works for the educational and professional integration of children and young people with physical disabilities. She also directs AFHAM (Association des Femmes Handicapées de Madagascar) which has enabled hundreds of disabled women to become aware of their rights, to gain financial autonomy and to five disabled women to be at the head of a association working in the field other than disability.
Winner of the Second Prize
Wilhelmine NTAKEBUKA is an activist for women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the many activities of her organization (Vision Communautaire – VICO), she succeeded in eradicating kwashiorkor among pregnant and breastfeeding women, seniors and children in Walungu territory. She courageously continued to carry out activities in favor of women’s rights in a context of political instability, war, in rural and landlocked areas, with violence, while all the organizations were absent on the ground. For example, it has helped set up a reception and transit center for women and girls victims of sexual violence and a mobile clinic program that now saves thousands of women victims of rape and sexual violence.
She worked for peace and security at the local level through a series of activities that put an end to the activism of the FDLRs, in the territories of Kabare and Walungu. She also carried out advocacy work for peace and security in North and South Kivu through an open letter addressed to President Joseph Kabila Kabange, during the Francophonie summit in Kinshasa in 2012, which made it possible to influence major decisions of this summit, in particular the military deployment in Beni.
Essivi S. ACAKPO-ADDRA Epse TSONYA
Third Prize Winner
Essivi S. ACAKPO-ADDRA Epse TSONYA is a climate justice activist. Through the many activities of her organization ( Women Environmental Program Togo – WEP-TOGO), she has succeeded in impacting more than 20,000 women through the implementation of resilience actions for women farmers and rural women in the face of climate change, and in the sustainable management of natural resources (land and forests). She also influenced policies at the national level for the involvement of women and the taking into account of their concerns in the national strategy of the project for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions due to Deforestation and Forest Degradation. (REDD +) in Togo, as a representative of women in the National REDD + committee.
Congratulations to our three winners who will respectively benefit from an envelope of 2000 USD, 1500 USD and 1000 USD and a reinforcement of visibility! Our three winners will also each receive a beautiful trophy which will be presented to them during a special ceremony during the Francophone Forum of XOESE scheduled for the end of 2021.
Thank you to all those who applied or nominated candidates for this 2020 edition of the Francophone Prize for Gender Equality!