The Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought will award its Prize 2006 to a politically committed Arab woman who has rendered outstanding services to freedom of thought, equal rights and democracy in the Arab world.
For as long as one can think men have held the monopoly on politics in Arab societies. Despite this fact, some women have managed to break through this supremacy and to become involved in political struggle. Because of their commitment they have become examples for future generations.
Among the subjects that have most interested women were subjects like independence, equal rights, equality of opportunity, and human rights.
No society is able to develop and work for progress and a promising future, if this is done within a way of thinking based on the principle of the exclusion of women. However, this is what happens in many Arab countries. Women are not being allowed to play an important part in moulding political processes. They are excluded from participating in any responsibility and decision making. At the very most, they are allocated marginal roles; in reality, they do not have any influence on fields also important for women.
Women are struggling on all levels for a participation in political life - on legal, economical and social level, but first of all on the political level. In developing Arab countries, the fact that politics has such a big impact on all these fields - jurisprudence, economy, society - politicians bear a great responsibility in undertaking the necessary reforms.
We think that women's fight for their emancipation in the Arab world plays a main role in bringing about social change. Despite their limited freedom ,there have been many examples of politically committed women that deserve the highest respect and honor.
The Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought has expressly decided to award this year's prize to a woman in order to draw attention to the important role of women in society.
Any person or organisation who is interested may nominate a woman whom he or she thinks worthy of the prize. Please send your proposal per letter or e-mail before the 15th of May 2006 to the address below and state the reasons for your choice in a short text. Please also attach a short biography of the candidate.
These proposals will be passed on to the members of an independent jury who will select the winner from among the proposals.
Last opportunity for nomination is May 15th, 2006.