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Olga Rudenko, Editor-in-Chief at Kyiv Independent, wins Woman of Europe Award

[Brussels, 8 December 2022] "We are not just defending our people and our land. We are defending the European values that we share with you. We are defending the ideas that Europe stands for. And in doing so, we need your support. We need it to grow and continue. Please, keep talking about Ukraine. Keep thinking about Ukraine. Keep helping Ukraine. And keep standing with Ukraine. Slava Ukraini,” said Olga Rudenko in her powerful acceptance speech.

In the ceremony held this evening, Olga Rudenko, Editor-in-Chief at Kyiv Independent, was awarded one of the ‘Woman of Europe’ Awards, in the Woman in Action category. The other winners were Sanna Marin (Woman in Power), Laura De Dilectis (Woman in Business), and Viviane Ogou Corbi (Woman in Youth Activism). The award ceremony, the seventh annual Women of Europe Awards, was organised in Brussels by the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby.

According to the Jury, which was comprised of extraordinary women from politics, business, civil society and academia, Olga Rudenko won the Woman in Action Award for her outstanding commitment to impartial and independent journalism as the editor-in-chief of the Kyiv Independent, a journal she has successfully kept running since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Upon receiving the Woman in Action Award, Rudenko said, “I would like to think that I am accepting this Award not just as an individual, but on behalf of all the brave women that are part of the Kyiv Independent and, in fact, on behalf of all Ukrainian women. They have been through so much this year. They truly are remarkable women in action.

See the full version of Rudenko’s powerful acceptance speech here.

The winners in each category:

Woman in Power Award: Sanna Marin - Prime Minister of Finland
Woman in Action Award: Olga Rudenko - Editor-in-Chief at Kyiv Independent
Woman in Business Award: Laura De Dilectis - Founder of DONNEXSTRADA
Woman in Youth Activism Award: Viviane Ogou Corbi - Youth Activist, President of La Puerta de Africa

During the ceremony, President of the European Movement International and member of the jury, Eva Maydell MEP, said, "The Women of Europe Awards recognizes the incredible contribution of Europe’s talented, courageous, and determined women who are steering us through our current challenges. It is an honour for the European Movement International to once again host them alongside the European Women’s Lobby."

“Women are valuable change agents, contributing with their achievements, determination, and expertise to literally all areas of life - to family, work, the environment, leadership, and entrepreneurship. We are proud to celebrate such fine examples of outstanding women again this year,” said Réka Sáfrány, President of the European Women’s Lobby and member of the jury.

Marja Routanen, Director General, Democracy and Human Dignity at the Council of Europe, and member of the jury said, “the Women of Europe Award 2022 provided an excellent occasion to celebrate women who are role models to all of us. It allows to bring visibility to their achievements and to use them as inspiration."

The Women of Europe Awards 2022 were awarded in more categories:

Winning the Woman in Power Award: Sanna Marin - Prime Minister of Finland
According to the Jury, Marin won the Woman in Power Award for the skilful and adept way in which she has navigated her country through a series of crises, but also for her notable work in promoting LGBT and human rights.

Winning the Woman in Business Award: Laura De Dilectis, Founder of DONNEXSTRADA
According to the jury, De Dilectis won the Woman in Business Award due to the innovative and effective way in which she has tackled the issue of gender-based violence and strive for a safer Europe for all.

Upon receiving the Woman in Business Award, De Dilectis said, “I really did not expect to win this award. Which is a great recognition and confirms my commitment to building a freer and safer life for all.”

Winning the Woman in Youth Activism Award: Viviane Ogou Corbi - Youth Activist, President of La Puerta de Africa
According to the jury, Corbi won the Women in Youth Activism Award for her outstanding work in promoting youth empowerment, research and outreach around the African continent.

Upon receiving the Woman in Action Award, Corbi said, “I feel thankful to the young leaders, institutions, organisations and professionals with whom I collaborate and learn from. Today I am the visible face of a dream, but the achievements we are celebrating result from broad efforts and collaborative leaderships.”

About the Women of Europe Awards

The Women of Europe Awards are handed out annually to honour and celebrate women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity. In Europe, the role of women remains largely unrecognised and still needs to be supported, highlighted and increasingly recognised. As such, the awards showcase vital contributions of women and seek to increase women’s presence and involvement in shaping Europe and its future.

Former winners, per category, include:
Woman in Power: Margrethe Vestager (2016), Federica Mogherini (2017), Marianne Thyssen (2018), Laura Codruța Kövesi (2019), Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (2020), Angela Merkel (2021).
Woman in Action: Adela Ionela Dinu (2016), Adriana Lettrari (2017), Orla O’Connor, Ailbhe Smyth & Grainne Griffin (2018), Milena Kadieva (2019), European Federation of Nurses Associations (2020), Jenny Rasche (2021).
Woman in Business: Melody Hossaini (2017), Axelle Lemaire (2018), Eleonora Azzaoui & Vera Günther (2019), Sara Nuru (2020), Dr Özlem Türeci (2021).
Woman in Youth Activism: Mina Jaf (2017), Sigrid Friis Proschowsky (2018), Johanna Nejedlová (2019), Mariya Atanasova (2020), Greta Thunberg (2021).

The European Movement is pleased to be partnering with Euronews, Europe’s leading international news channel, for the 2022 Women of Europe Awards. We would also like to thank our digital partner, META, for their contribution to the promotion of the Awards.

Join the conversation! #WomenOfEurope
Press contact
Christian Skrivervik - Head of Press and Communications, European Movement International
Mirta Baselovic - Communications and Media Coordinator, European Women’s Lobby

For more information about the Women of Europe Awards 2022, please click here.

We encourage you to join the discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #WomenofEurope. You can also follow the event organisers @EMInternational & @EuropeanWomen.

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