Left without the legal protection of husbands after the ugly bloodletting of 1994, fifty women stood together in Rwanda to form AVEGA Agahzo, the Association of Widows of the Genocide, and 17 years later they are still helping one another and thousands of other survivors to get on with the business of living.
This is the Foundation’s ninth and final Women’s Rights Prize. In establishing the award in 2003, Peter Gruber said, “Our hope is to redress restrictive laws and customs that deprive women not only of their human rights, but also of their ability to enrich the human condition.”
Patricia Gruber commented on why AVEGA were selected for the award:
We are truly gratified that AVEGA will receive the last Women’s Rights Prize for it embodies the ideals of the award. These women not only help one another, they have reached out to orphans of the genocide, to parents who lost children, to the elderly and disabled, and in short have improved life for all of Rwanda – and set an example for the rest of the world.
AVEGA were nominated for the award by Survivors Fund (SURF). For further information, please see the full press release.