At the “Women of the World” Festival on the Southbank on 11th March Valentina Cherevatenko will receive this year’s Anna Politkovskaya Prize, awarded by the RAW in WAR organisation. This prize, given each year since 2007, goes to an outstanding woman human rights defender from a conflict zone. Past laureates include the late Natalya Estemirova (Chechnya/Russia), Malalai Joya ( Afghanistan) and Marie Colvin (the USA)
The event on 9 March offers a unique opportunity to meet this remarkable woman from Novocherkassk in the informal surroundings of Pushkin House. It is rare chance to listen to Valentina and hear about her continuing work. The event will be held in Russian with translation.
VALENTINA CHEREVATENKO is the chair of the “Women of the Don” Union and of the “Women of the Don” Foundation for Civil Society Development, two NGOs based in Novocherkassk in the Rostov Region (South Russia). The “Women of the Don” Union, originally established in 1993, has worked for more than twenty years in different areas of human rights, with a special emphasis on the rights of women: in particular, it has focused on gender discrimination, violence against women, and peace-building initiatives in the North Caucasus region. “Women of the Don” also provides free legal advice to the public, promotes dialogue and tolerance, and has worked to improve relations between the police and members of society. The Justice Ministry designated both “Women of the Don” Union (in 2014) and the “Women of the Don” Foundation (in 2015) as ‘foreign agent’ NGOs. In February 2016 the Ministry of Justice officially removed the “Women of the Don” Union from its list of foreign agents. In June 2016, however, Valentina Cherevatenko became the first individual to face criminal prosecution under the ‘foreign agent’ law for the alleged ‘malicious evasion of duties imposed by the law on non-profit organisations performing the functions of a foreign agent,’ a move condemned by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Frontline Defenders and other human rights organizations.
You can read more about Valentina’s work in Russian HERE.