The European Economic and Social Committee has chosen five finalists from among the nearly 180 inspiring projects it received for its 2019 Civil Society Prize dedicated to the empowerment of women and the fight for gender equality.

The nominees, listed here in alphabetical order, are:

  • Fairy Tales project, by the Bulgarian NAIA Association, which teaches gender equality to pre-school children via classic fairy tales;
  • #mimmitkoodaa (Women Code), a programme by the Finnish Software and eBusiness Association (Ohjelmisto- ja e-business ry) combatting the stereotype that all software developers are men by default;
  • Polish Women's Strike, which empowers women activists in small and medium-sized cities fighting for change;
  • The Brussels Binder from Belgium, which advocates better representation of women in European policy debates;
  • Women's Toponymy, an Italian project working to increase the number of places bearing the names of notable women, giving them the public recognition they deserve.

The award ceremony will be held on 12 December during the EESC plenary session in Brussels, when the final ranking will be revealed. The winner of the first prize will go home with EUR 14 000 and the remaining finalists will receive EUR 9 000 each.

The EESC chose this theme for the 2019 Civil Society Prize as it wanted to reiterate its strong commitment to gender equality, something that is still not a reality in Europe. Women continue to earn less than men, suffer from discrimination and are often victims of gender violence. By honouring projects that show tangible achievements in fostering equal opportunities, the EESC hopes to highlight progress made towards a more equal society for women and men and encourage further action. (ll)