SES Women of the Year 2021

Women of Resilience and Hope: SES Women of the Year

At the SES Equality and Solidarity Association, we amplify the voices of women’s resistance and courage through SES Equality, Justice, and Women’s Platform, our organization’s esteemed publication. Through this Platform, we gather and share the empowering stories of women who fearlessly challenge the patriarchal system, giving rise to the possibility of a new and transformative world. These remarkable tales of resilience and determination can be summarized in two powerful and inspiring words: Resistance and Hope.

Indeed, with their unwavering bravery, unyielding determination, remarkable achievements, and acts of unwavering solidarity, women shine as beacons of hope not only for their nation but for the entire world. It is with profound admiration and gratitude that we recognize and appreciate these extraordinary women who stand at the forefront of the battle for women’s rights. They embody the principles of equality and feminism, serving as inspiring leaders who lead by example, motivating others through their achievements. Equally, we pay tribute to the women who valiantly resist systemic oppression and selflessly contribute to fostering a spirit of unity and solidarity. 

In honor of these exceptional women, we take great pride in introducing the SES Women of the Year award. The selection process for the years 2021 and 2022 was an inclusive endeavor, engaging thousands of representatives from the women’s movement who actively participated in the nomination and evaluation process. With immense joy and respect, we hosted two award ceremonies at the prestigious Pera Museum to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of these remarkable individuals. 

We were delighted to present the “SES Women of the Year 2021” awards to their recipients during the award ceremony held at the Pera Museum on January 20, 2022. With the leadership of our Association and the broad participation of the women’s movement, the ceremony was attended by representatives of the women’s movement, activists, politicians, artists, journalists, and businesspeople. Despite the gloom of the pandemic, we were filled with hope throughout the evening, thanks to the brilliant hosting by our journalist colleague, Özlem Gürses.

Award Recipients:

Ayşe Albayrak on behalf of the women leading the resistance in İkizdere; the women of Afghanistan who resist the Taliban; Anne Hidalgo, the first female mayor of Paris; Dr. Özlem Türeci, co-founder of BioNTech; Eda Erdem on behalf of the National Women’s Volleyball Team; Busenaz Sürmeneli, champion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games; experienced journalist Çiğdem Toker; the only female village head in Diyarbakır, Dilek Demir; Hülya Gülbahar on behalf of the Women’s Platform for Equality (EŞİK); female students of Boğaziçi University who symbolized the resistance; Liana Georgi, the German singer and songwriter who became a prominent figure in 2021 by walking in front of the police during Pride; Merve Akpınar, a 13-year-old handball player and student at Şanlıurfa Konuklu İmam Hatip Middle School; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first female and African director-general in the history of the World Trade Organization; Hacer Foggo, who conducted field research for years on urban poverty and human rights; Ezgi Mola, who created significant awareness in the art world with her voice against femicides; Masih Alinejad on behalf of the White Wednesdays campaign; Emine Şenyaşar, who has been leading the “Justice Vigil” in front of Urfa Courthouse for months; MacKenzie Scott, one of the wealthiest women in the world; Elisa Loncón Antileo on behalf of the women fighting for a feminist constitution in Chile; Prof. Dr. Elif Vatanoğlu Lutz, a faculty member at Yeditepe University Faculty of Medicine; and the Women’s Rights Center representing the women’s movement in Poland.