Aissa Doumara Ngatansou, a Cameroonian activist, was on 8th March awarded the Simone Veil Prize, a prestigious French award. She was recognized for her efforts to help victims of rape and forced marriage through her organization.
The ceremony took place on International Women’s Day at the Elysee Palace in France. French President, Macron, was present and he awarded Aissa the prize which is worth $112,000. The award was named after Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor.
According to France 24, Aissa dedicated her win to all victims of violence and forced marriages. She also dedicated the prize to all the women who have escaped Boko Haram’s capture. French President Macron, talked about Aissa saying, “This is an example of courage, of challenging the weight of legacies.” Macron also added that France would contribute $135 million to a fund to fight against violence and discrimination imposed on women around the world.
Aissa was quoted by the United Nations Women Programme in November 2018 saying, “My own experience of discrimination inspired me to become the activist that I am today.”
The Simone Veil Prize was created in honor of the Simone Annie Liline Veil, a French lawyer, politician, and activist. She is revered in France for her contributions to French law, notable her push towards changes for women’s rights and family law. Till the time of her passing in 2017, Veil is known as the most successful female politicians, serving as the 12th President of the European Parliament.