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Chancellor Angela Merkel. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Angela Merkel, the federal chancellor of Germany, received the International Gender Equality Prize on Thursday evening in Brussels. The prize of 150,000 euros, established and awarded by the Finnish Government, is the first of its kind. The winner was selected by an independent, Finnish jury.

Merkel received the prize in recognition of her long-standing work as a defender of human dignity and human rights and commitment to women and girls globally. “Chancellor Angela Merkel has become one of the world’s most influential people and is an example to many women and girls,” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.

Equality is a core value for Finland, which is celebrating 100 years of independence. “Ours was the first nation in the world to grant women full political rights in 1906. Through this prize, we want to strengthen appreciation for gender equality in other countries around the world too,” said Sipilä.

Merkel said that she is “very proud that I am the recipient of this prize.” Humbly, she continued praising Finland. “Let me use this opportunity yet again to congratulate Finland on its 100th anniversary. I would also like to congratulate Finland on your very strong stance on women’s rights. You introduced women’s rights at a very early point in time. I will honor this prize and it will also serve as an encouragement to me to continue to work for promoting gender equality, because there is still a lot that remains to be done,” Merkel said.

[alert type=white ]”I will honor this prize and it will also serve as an encouragement to me to continue to work for promoting gender equality.”[/alert]

The recipient is obligated to assign the money to a cause they have chosen that strengthens the position of girls and women. The prize money is financed from the budget of Finland’s development cooperation.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s life work has made her one of the world’s most influential people and an example to many women and girls. By breaking through the glass ceiling, Merkel has shown that women can rise to the top ranks of society.

In her position as chancellor, Merkel has brought gender equality to the agenda of world leaders at summit meetings. She has worked to improve the rights and opportunities of women, especially in developing countries.

In Germany, her aim is to achieve genuine equality in society between men and women, which means, for instance, making it easier to fit work and family life together.

She is known for her uprightness when it comes to human dignity and human rights, even under the pressure of international challenges. The Finnish Government also recognizes her as a “strong believer in European values and as  a true European leader and role model.”

Source: The Finnish Government

Editorial Team