The Katerva Awards are given annually to excellent sustainability ideas and initiatives in 10 categories. Finalists are announced in September each year. A single winner in each category will be selected by a panel of experts in that category and announced in October each year. A grand prize winner will be selected among category winners and announced as the best new sustainability effort of the year.
Entire societies develop for the better when women are enabled to be fully contributing community members. Strides in gender equality lead to strides against all forms of discrimination. This category covers programming and initiatives designed to improve the overall state of women, provide them with more opportunities, and defend their right to equal treatment alongside men.
There will not be a Gender Equality winner this year. We commend the following finalists for great work within their category. Our global panel of experts have decided that these finalists do not currently stand up to the rigorous criteria set forth to identify those with the potential to affect sustainability at the global level.
DNA Foundation, finalist
The Demi & Ashton Foundation (DNA) hopes to end child sex slavery by raising public awareness and finding innovative solutions to free and rehabilitate victimized children around the world. Actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher started the foundation to address one of the world’s biggest human rights issues. DNA describes today’s global commercial sex trade as “modern slavery,” in which more than 12 million people are enslaved—2 million of which are children—for sex, pornography, forced labor and indentured servitude. In the United States alone, 100,000 to 300,000 children are enslaved and sold for sex. These children are mostly runaways who have been abused or neglected at home and are thus, easily exploited. Besides raising awareness, DNA also hopes to challenge the cultural stereotypes that allow this problem to persist.
Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation initiative, channels the energy and enthusiasm of adolescent girls in North America into providing help – and hope- for girls in developing countries. Girls between 10 and 19 represent half of the largest generation of youth the world has ever seen. Yet, less than 2 cents of every dollar of development aid goes to help these girls. American girls involved in Girl Up raise funds to help do on a small scale what national funding initiatives aren’t doing on a large scale. The girls running these fundraising campaigns ask for donations as small as $5, allowing other young people to easily make a contribution. The funds go towards providing girls in developing countries with school supplies, access to clean water, access to health services, and safety from violence.
Maternova is a web-based innovation portal: one part long-range media company covering innovations focused on saving lives in childbirth, one part marketplace for lifesaving ideas and tools. Maternova tracks innovations that could be marketed to address maternal and newborn complications. Maternova’s business model is innovative – the organization acts as a broker between those that are capable of supplying a variety of innovative maternal health care solutions and those demanding them. Maternova’s aim is to become a ‘go to’ site for connections, technologies, techniques and ideas for global maternal/neonatal health. Maternova works to track innovations, pack & sell low-cost tools, and map maternal health facilities. Their current own-brand products include clinic mapping tools and an obstetric kit.
The GSMA mWomen Programme, launched with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October 2010, addresses the key barriers to women’s ownership of mobile phones. In February 2010, the GSMA, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, identified a gender gap in mobile phone ownership in the developing world – 300 million fewer women than men own mobile phones and the potentially life changing tools that they can provide, such as access to health services, banking, employment opportunities and educational tools. The GSMA mWomen Programme addresses the key barriers to women’s ownership of mobile phones, including total cost of ownership, technical literacy, and cultural barriers to adoption.
Pixel Project, finalist
The Pixel Project is an innovative virtual volunteer-led non-profit organization using social media and online strategies to turbo-charge global awareness about violence against women while raising funds and volunteer power for the cause. The Pixel Project team works from 4 continents, aiming to raise global awareness about the issue of Violence Against Women through social media. It raises money for projects by engaging a global audience to collectively unveil a million-pixel mystery collage of Celebrity Male Role Models at US$1 per pixel. World-famous male celebrities with strong family connections and no history of violence are invited to participate in this collage of portraits. The philosophy behind choosing positive male role models from different walks of life is to emphasize that men have a major role to play in breaking the cycle of violence against women.