Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been awarded the prestigious African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Milestone Award Grant. The $100,000 grant was awarded on the 10th anniversary of Madam Sirleaf receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and recognizes her trailblazing work in support of women’s advancement across Africa. Madam Sirleaf’s fellow Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee also received a Milestone Award Grant, and both grants will go towards supporting the work of their individual organizations in championing African women and girls in peacekeeping processes and public service leadership.
The 2011, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Madam Sirleaf, Ms. Gbowee, and activist Tawakkol Karman in recognition of their leadership and advocacy for women’s rights, and full involvement in the Liberian peace process. The AWDF acknowledged that:
“The two African women both played a critical role in securing sustainable peace in their country Liberia which was emerging from a brutal civil war, and they continue to work towards protecting human rights and promoting peace.
Women’s leadership and participation in governance is central in contributing to equality and to positive transformation, and the two recipients of the Milestone Grants have shown leadership for decades in the instrumental roles they played in their country’s quest for peace.
The AWDF Milestone Grant is a way to honour and document the experiences and contributions of African women who have committed their lives to the women’s movement and to democratic values and struggles in their countries. It also serves to uplift African women through philanthropy rooted in sisterhood.”
Madam Sirleaf expressed that she was humbled to receive the award: “AWDF has shown true leadership in advancing women’s rights in Africa and this grant is a further demonstration of their commitment to the cause.” The grant will aid the EJS Center in continuing its work to champion African women’s leadership through efforts like the Amujae Initiative.
The AWDF is a grantmaking foundation that supports organizations across Africa that are working to promote and recognize women’s rights and leadership in all aspects of life. As Africa’s first women’s fund, it has played a pivotal role in women’s empowerment.