Lepa Mlađenović, the second winner of the Anne Klein Women’s Award, is a courageous woman who has continuously fought against violence and militarism and for freedom, human rights, and sexual self-determination. Her political activism is an inspiration to many fellow campaigners in Serbia, on the Balkans, and all around the world.
The statement of the jury outlines:
”Lepa Mlađenović is a Serbian intellectual and activist campaigning for peace and human rights. She is especially committed to women’s rights and the rights of people whose sexual orientation and gender identity does not conform to majority norms. Focal points of her work are sexual political violence in war and peace, prevention of violence, and trauma work. For her commitment she has become well known far beyond the borders of Serbia and the region.
Lepa Mlađenović is active in and a co-founder of many organisations and networks, among them Serbia’s Women in Black, as well as Arkadia and Labris, two organisations advocating lesbian rights, whose spokeswoman she is.”
Barbara Unmüßig, co-president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and head of the jury points out:
”Lepa Mlađenović is an exceptional personality, combining political courage with intellectuality, as well as actual counselling of traumatised women with political lobbying and scientific research. Repeatedly, Lepa Mlađenović has put herself in great danger. To campaign for the rights of homosexuals in Serbia one has to be fearless. Severe discrimination and the hostility of large parts of the people as well as state authorities are an everyday reality for homosexuals in the region.”
Unmüßig adds: “The Anne Klein Women’s Award is a clear political statement against homophobia in Serbia and many other countries in that it supports, by means of actual solidarity, the work of Lepa Mlađenović and her Serbian fellow campaigners for the rights of lesbians.”
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