Festival award aims to recognise inspiring women

Oxford Mail: Debbie Hollingsworth Buy this photo Debbie Hollingsworth

OXFORD has helped to produce inspirational women, from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to Nobel Prize winners Dorothy Hodgkin and Aung San Suu Kyi.

But a new award launched this month aims to mark the county’s “ordinary” women, inspiring others from outside the limelight.

The Inspiring Women Award was launched as part of the Oxford International Women’s Festival 2014, which ends on Sunday, and will culminate in a special award ceremony next month.

Organiser Debbie Hollingsworth said: “Oxford has many inspirational women both past and present, not to mention those yet to emerge in years to come.

“We want to hear about any woman, living or working in Oxford, who inspires someone else.

“We hope to receive nominations for women working in business, education, the charity sector and across the county.

“Nominees have no age limit. They might be your grandmother or an aunt.

“Women do not have to be remarkable because of their job. It could be your inspirational mother or sister.”

Oxford Mail: Margaret Thatcher

All nominees will be invited to attend a special event, details of which are yet to be announced.

While only one will receive the Inspiring Women Award, all those who enter will receive certificates. Two members of a three-person judging panel have already been appointed.

They are Andrew Smith, project director of Oxford’s Gatehouse homeless drop-in centre and Kate Clayton-Hathway of Oxford Brookes Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice.

Mr Smith said: “It’s lovely to be the ‘token male’ on this panel and I look forward to hearing about women who are an inspiration.”

Oxford Mail: Aung San Suu Kyi

People should write a paragraph of 150 words about the nominee and why they deserve recognition by Friday March 28.

They should be sent with an email address or phone number for the nominator and nominee to oxfordwomen@gmail.com or posted to: Debbie Hollingsworth, 1 Stratfield Road, Oxford.

Oxford International Women’s Festival is now in its 25th year and features workshops, exhibitions, events and performances.

For more information, see oxfordinternationalwomensfestival.co.uk

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