Since 2012, the Women on the Move Awards (WOMA) has celebrated the achievements of inspirational women leaders from migrant and refugee backgrounds who challenge injustice and help others integrate into and contribute to society. The Awards are also a vehicle for influencing the public narrative that marginalises the positive impact of migrants and refugees.
WOMA is delivered in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and Women of the World Festival hosted at the Royal Festival Hall to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th.
The Awards recognise migrant and refugee women, as well as young women working at the grassroots supporting other migrants and refugees. Additional awards acknowledge those who contribute to a more positive discourse on migration or support the integration of newcomers – journalists who report exceptionally on women and forced migration and organisations and/or individuals who champion refugee and migrant women in particular.
The event is presented by journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed and each award is presented by high profile supporters such as Annie Lennox, Anita Rani, Juliet Stevenson, Olivia Firth, Laura Carmichael, Gewndoline Christie, Laura Mvula, Phyllida Lloyd, Lindsey Hilsum, Gillian Slovo, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Vanessa Redgrave.
The Awards were founded by the Chief Executive of Migrants Organise, Zrinka Bralo. After being presented with an award by the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York for her work with refugees in urban areas, Zrinka was inspired to establish an equivalent here in the UK.
There are so many award ceremonies where those who already have are given more and those who are already acknowledged have even more fuss made of them. And I think these are awards which are much, much more valuable than that, because they give prominence and they shine a light on those who get no attention at all for the incredible, inspiring work which they are doing.
– Juliet Stevenson, award winning actress and presenter at the 2013 Awards Ceremony