The final portion of the evening was the formal presentation of the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award, endowed with EUR 1 million. This year, the Roland Berger Foundation has chosen to recognize three individuals and organizations that campaign tirelessly and courageously for the dignity and rights of women in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan:
Indian NGO Jagori, represented by its directors Suneetha Dhar and Kalpana Viswanath, received the Award in recognition of its longstanding and successful commitment to women’s rights in India. One of Jagori’s current initiatives is the Safe Delhi Campaign to improve the safety of women in the Indian capital. The organization has set up an emergency hotline for victims of violence, and trained bus drivers on how to deal with incidences of sexual attacks. Jagori is also working with the city to improve the infrastructure, including lobbying for better street lighting.
Human rights activist and lawyer, Dr. Asma Jahangir of Pakistan, was honored for her committed fight on behalf of women’s rights in Pakistan. 33 years ago, she founded the country’s first women-managed law practice and since then has successfully defended victims of rape, domestic abuse and forced labor. She has also represented members of religious minorities accused of blasphemy. Dr. Jahangir is one of the most prominent voices in the fight for the rights of women in Islamic society.
The Afghan Women’s Network was recognized for its efforts on behalf of the women of Afghanistan. The Award was accepted by directors Leeda Yaqoobi and Hasina Safi. Since 1995, the Afghan Women’s Network has successfully campaigned for women to have a greater say in the development of their homeland and to reduce discrimination and violence against women. One of the Network’s projects is providing training sessions in rural villages to inform the women there of their rights and support them in exercising those rights.
As stipulated in the Foundation’s charter, the three award winners will use the prize funds for projects that support women in need and seek to improve their situation.
The Roland Berger Foundation also presented its first honorary award: represented by its current director, Professor W. Michael Blumenthal, the Jewish Museum Berlin received the Roland Berger Honorary Human Dignity Award 2012/13. With the Award, the Foundation is honoring the Museum’s exemplary commitment to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and researching one of the grossest violations of human dignity. The Jewish Museum will use the award for the academic and educational work of its newly established Academy. The Academy will focus on the topics of migration, the integration of various social groups and intercultural education in a diverse society. In doing so, it is working for a successful immigration and integration policy.
Speeches honoring Jagori, Dr. Asma Jahangir and the Afghan Women’s Network were given by actress and physician Dr. Maria Furtwängler, a Member of the Roland Berger Foundation Awards Committee. Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, spoke in praise of the Jewish Museum Berlin.
Over 350 high-caliber guests from politics, business, culture and media attended the ceremony for the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award 2012/13. The event was held in the Jewish Museum Berlin for the first time.