Rabat – Aicha Ech-Chenna, Moroccan human rights activist and founder of the Feminine Solidarity Association, was crowned International Woman of the Year at the Monte-Carlo Women of the Year ceremony.
For the sixth edition of the award ceremony, the theme chosen was “Women for Women”, celebrating female activists who defend women’s rights, as gender equality has become an ever-present debate in today’s societies.
During the ceremony held on June 7 in Monaco, Ech-Chenna was awarded the international prize for her lifelong efforts to help single mothers through her association Solidarité féminine.
“When we disrespect women we disrespect something sacred,” Ech-Chenna declared when receiving her award. The Moroccan activists said that she created her association in order to help women become emancipated and independent.
Since its founding in 1985, the Feminine Solidarity Association has sought to help women integrate the job market by offering them professional training in different fields. The association believes that, by enabling these women to achieve their financial and social autonomy, they could therefore be set free.
This is not the first time Ech-Chenna would be awarded an international prize. She was a recipient of the World Bank Social Accountability Award in 2015, and the Opus Prize in 2009.
For her part, Cinzia Sgambati-Colman, the organizer of the event said that they received many applications this year, so much that they had a hard time choosing only a few.
Candidates did file their applications themselves. Instead ambassadors from around the world as well as those in their close circle of friends nominated the female activists.
Two other women beside Ech-Chenna were also awarded for their outstanding achievements. Sister Anne-Marie Salomon was given the Monaco Women of the Year award. “She is religious, has a degree in mathematics and physics and is also a doctor. She works in Mali where she’s opened a Nomad Hospital that tends to 30 000 patients each year, affected by aids, malaria, leprosy or tuberculosis. She helps build schools and trains caregivers and midwives,” reports the Hello Monaco website.
The last prize, the Special Award, was handed to Michele Mitchell. The American journalist, author and filmmaker was the youngest woman in charge of communications for the US Congress. She was also noticed for her investigative work in the documentary “Haiti, Where has the money gone?”