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Egyptian women’s rights activist honoured at London awards

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Julie Tomlin
WVoN co-editor

Egyptian writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi has been been honoured, alongside other women, at this year’s Women of the Year’s Awards.

The novelist, feminist and activist, who has been imprisoned and exiled as a result of her work campaigning for women’s rights, was presented with the Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her work.

El Saadawi said she was happy to receive the award because it means that her creative work gains “more and more recognition” from her peers and others.

“Winning this award encourages me to continue my creative dissident writing and fighting,” she said.

“I am always hopeful – especially since the revolution in Egypt in 2011; women will unite in the Egyptian Women Union and fight locally and globally for their rights. As for me, I am writing a new novel inspired by the revolution.”

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, president of the Women of the Year, said: “Nawal was a leading voice in Tahir Square arguing for democratic reforms and encouraging young students and women to fight for their beliefs.”

“She has shown great strength and courage and we are thrilled that she has been able to accept this award from Women of the Year.”

Four other awards were presented at the Women of the Year Lunch at the InterContinental Hotel in London.

The singer Lulu was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and  Katie Piper, who has inspired women with her story after acid was thrown into her face in 2008, received Women of the Year ‘You Can’ Award.

The Inspirational Woman of the Year Award went to Jackie Millerchip for her work looking after children with special needs.

Debby Edwards, Victoria Mulleady, Sgt Lauren Odell, Kate Sherman, Surgeon Commander Sarah Stapley and Sarah Winters received Women of the Year Awards.

Nawal El Saadawi will be speaking at London’s Frontline Club on Friday, October 21, from 7pm. Click here for more details.

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