AN Oxford woman has received an award for going above and beyond in her daily life to create and sustain positive change around the world.

Joana Baptista, who is 19, has been honoured with The Diana Award - said to be the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action and humanitarian efforts.

Since she was 12 years old, Miss Baptista has campaigned tirelessly to tackle gender inequality.

She started off by setting up a coding club which has now grown to support hundreds of young women across 15 different countries.

ALSO READ: Oxford High School students give traditional children's stories a modern twist to tackle prejudice

The teenager, who has just finished her first year studying economics and management at Oxford University, also runs her own social enterprise called ‘SHE’, which tackles social issues through a series of children’s picture books which take a classic fairytale and rewrite them with a modern twist.

Oxford Mail:

Miss Baptista said: "I am so delighted to have received the award - it’s truly an honour to receive this accolade and to be recognised as someone worthy of being tied to Diana’s Legacy.

"The amount of lovely messages I’ve received from so many people over the last few days has been amazing. I really didn’t expect it at all yet it's such a wonderful thing to experience."

Miss Baptista is a frequent public speaker, activist and advisor to boards such as the Institute for the Future of Work at the House of Commons and the International Youth Think Tank, as well as an ambassador for #iwill and the Women of the Future Lloyds Bank Programme.

Most recently, she co-founded an initiative called UniPear which aims to increase the diversity of Oxford University’s student body by pairing disadvantaged and monitory prospective applicants with current Oxford students who will guide them through the application process.

ALSO READ: Climate activist Greta Thunberg visits Oxford University college

Ms Baptista added: "I really hope that this is just the beginning of my journey with the Diana Award and I’m looking forward to being able to continue working to make sure that every young person, no matter who they are or where they’re from, has the opportunity to dream big and achieve anything."

The Diana Award, which is also the name of the charity that issues the prize, was established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and has the support of both her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Oxford Mail:

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.

“For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”

ALSO READ: Supermarket food fears: urgent recalls from Asda and Aldi

In order to win the award, young people have to be nominated by adults who know them in a professional capacity and recognise their efforts as a positive contribution to society.

There are 13 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation.