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WWSF Prize for women's creativity in rural life

Messages of support

Vicepresident of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child & Director of IDE
Jean Zermatten
" (Excerpt of the opening address at the annual WWSF Geneva conference “Progress in prevention of child abuse” - 19 November 2009).[...]On behalf of Mrs. Yanghee Lee, President of the Committee of the Rights of the Child, I convey to all a very warm welcome and congratulate WWSF for this initiative launched in 2000 in reaction to an unacceptable pedophile statement in the press… I imagine that all of you assembled are involved in a long term perspective and I express the wish that the first 10 years will multiply and that I can come and celebrate the 20anniversary of your campaign in 2020. Long life to your Foundation, I rejoice in its activities…(2009) "
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Prativa SUBEDI

Prativa SUBEDI

ASIA · Nepal

From the forest to the University, from the University to the rural communities: an atypical history of a Nepalese activist

Growing up in a rural village surrounded by dense forests, Prativa Subedi (58) has devoted her life to raise the living standards of those in need. Creating the Women Awareness Centre Nepal (WACN) in 1990, Prativa works to empower rural women and gives women a sense of dignity for their lives.


Though many girls did not have the option to attend school, Prativa’s forward thinking father encouraged her to obtain an education, and she eventually got a Master’s degree in Economics. As her desire to help the poor intensified, Prativa challenged the traditional role as a woman in Nepal. She began to write, and published four books on the harsh reality for women in Nepal. The truth was exposed in order to raise awareness on gender and development issues.


Prativa’s creation of WACN provided the opportunity to create the change for women she always hoped for. Economic opportunities were created for thousands of women due to training and support in sustainable agricultural practices. Such ambition has led to the establishment of 41 women’s cooperatives, ranging from 200 to 1,200 women shareholders. As a result, 25,000 women have become members of informal savings and credit groups.


Prativa’s work has enabled rural women to become economically independent in a male-dominated society. Women have developed more confidence in their ability to become equal partners in development, enhancing the lives of the women and giving hope to young girls and all future women of the community. She continues to drive innovative mechanisms to help develop the socio-economic status for rural women, overcoming all odds that were put against her.