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One Million Signature Campaign Honored with Simone de Beauvoir Award

Friday 9 January 2009


Change for Equality: According to a report by Radio France International, Persian Service the One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Award which was established in honor and memory of this Feminist theorist and writer. For the past two years on the 9th of January, the birthday of Simone de Beauvoir an Award has been given to persons or groups which work to promote women’s rights. The first Simone de Beauvoir Award, in commemoration of her centennial, was given to Taslima Nasreen the writer and women’s rights defender from Bangladesh and to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former member of the Parliament of the Netherlands.

Julia Kristeva, the renowned Bulgarian-French philosopher, writer and psychoanalyst who is the founder of the Award and who heads the jury for the Award explained more about the decision of the Jury in an interview with Radio France International, Persian Service:

"Simone de Beauvoir continued the struggle for women’s rights—an effort that has spanned two centuries. With her world renowned book ’The Second Sex’ Simone de Beauvoir created a Revolution in the international women’s movement.

The jury for this award, which is comprised of approximately 20 internationally known figures including several writers, sociologists, philosophers, journalists and politicians, wanted to emphasize the fact that the struggle for women’s rights is not a French, European or Western concept, rather it is a struggle that has attracted women across the world.

Last year this Award was given to Taslima Nasreen, who has been harassed and persecuted [in relation to her struggles for women’s rights]. This year we were immensely moved by the courage of Iranian women and the innovate style of their struggle.

This movement [the One Million Signatures Campaign] is engaged in an important effort to explain the meaning and nature of human rights and women’s rights to women themselves, encouraging each of them to become involved in the struggle against inequities. The One Million Signatures Campaign is a new and innovative movement because it has not taken shape around one progressive and famous central figure, rather it is a broad movement, where activists visit with other women, engage in face to face discussions with them, they go home to home, and explain to each woman about women’s rights.

Through this [face-to-face] strategy and through the internet they have created a broad network of ideas and persons, which includes women from all backgrounds, including women from low income and socio-economically advantaged groups. This effort is in line with the spirit of Simone de Beauvoir’s work. By giving this Award to [to the One Million Signatures Campaign] we want to encourage these women and demonstrate our love and solidarity with them."

It is worth mentioning that in honor of Simone de Beauvoir’s birthday the site of the Campaign in France was also launched. The first news item appearing on this site is about the Simone de Beauvoir Award presented to the One Million Signatures Campaign. Take a look at the Campaign’s site in France..

We welcome both the recognition provided to the One Million Signatures Campaign by the international community as well as the Campaign’s new website in France.

Report/Translation by: Sussan Tahmasebi

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