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Camfed founder receives Women of the Year award

Young people and education have been the focus of Ann Cotton’s life and she has a passionate belief in the power of education to transform lives.

UNITED KINGDOM, 13 October 2008 - Camfed’s founder and Executive Director Ann Cotton has been presented with the Women of the Year Window to the World Award. The award salutes women whose courage and determination has brought much-needed attention to an international issue – in Ann’s case, the lack of educational opportunity for girls in rural Africa. The award was presented by Sarah Brown, the wife of the UK Prime Minister, at the annual Women of the Year Luncheon on October 13th.

Presenting the award, Sarah Brown said: “Ann is a remarkable woman, whose modesty belies her immense achievements. Through sheer determination and perseverance, she has enabled hundreds of thousands of young girls in Africa to receive a proper education, transforming their lives and the lives of their children. And through the passion of her campaigning, she has helped ensure that the issue of girls’ education is now firmly and permanently on the agenda of the world’s leaders.”

Ann Cotton joins an impressive roster of previous award recipients, including Jasvinder Sanghera, who campaigns for victims of forced marriage, domestic violence and honour killings; and Zimbabwean human rights crusader Thabitha Khumalo.

“I am honoured to be among the remarkable humanitarians who have been recognised with this award,” said Ann Cotton. “The injustice of girls’ exclusion from education is a wrong that must be put right if the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Girls, quite simply, have a right to education and in securing that right can transform their families and nations.”

Women of the Year Window to the World Awardees are nominated by the Women of the Year Council, which includes President Joan Armatrading, Chairman Gill Carrick, Eleanor Angel, Maureen Lipman, Mary Nightingale, Doreen Lawrence, Virginia Wade, Gill Sinclair, Ann Barr, Professor Trish Morris-Thompson, Glenys Kinnock MEP, Teresa Graham and Kay Brock.

Singer/songwriter and Women of the Year President Joan Armatrading said: “Each year it is an honour to invite women to join the Women of the Year Lunch and recognise them for the extraordinary things that they do. Our thanks and tributes go to Ann, who continues to push boundaries and obstacles in her path for progress, understanding and change. She is a true inspiration to us all.”


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