14 young children coming from the four corners of the world have won the international drawing competition on Gender Equality, which was launched by the Commission on the International Women's Day, 8 March 2010. They will be awarded a prize of €1,000 each, which will be used to buy books, computers, pay for school or library fees or other education materials. Approximately 50,000 eight to ten year old children from 61 countries from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, the Pacific, Latin America, Mediterranean, the Middle East and the EU's Eastern Neighbours have expressed in a drawing their vision on the theme of gender equality - how girls and boys, women and men, can together make the world a better place. More than 100 drawings were submitted for the competition from Belarus.
"I wish to congratulate the winners and all the participants for their creative drawings and their engagement in the fight for gender equality in the world. This competition, in its simplicity, remains a very strong tool to bring about change in women's situation through the young generations. If policy-makers work to design efficient development policies, these children will be the actors that make them come true," said Andris Piebalgs the European Commissioner for Development, who is the patron of this year's competition.
This year's overall winners per region are:
• Khushil Nagda, 9 years, Kenya
• Ramboasalama Iderana Ny Andrianina, 10 years, Madagascar
• Mabvuto Zimba, 10 years, Zambia
• Asna Rashid, 10 years, Kenya
• An Usa, 8 years, Cambodia
• Abdullah Abid, 10 years, Pakistan
Caribbean and Pacific:
• Shara Yoselyn Medrano Silva, 10 years, Dominican Republic
• Ayesha Simran Chand, 9 years, Fiji
European Neighbourhood (including Belarus):
• Tajana Dodov, 10 years, FYROM
• Olga Chemachenko, 9 years, Ukraine
• Andulce Chacón Camila Micaela, 10 years, Bolivia
• Enrique Suárez Estrada, 10 years, Mexico
Mediterranean and Middle East:
• Lila Ghezaili, 10 years, Algeria
• Mohammad Izzo, 10 years, Syria
Since the launch of the competition on International Women's Day on 8 March 2010, the Commission received 26,080 drawings coming from 49.709 children in 1.641 schools and community centres. 61 EU Delegations have been involved from six regions of the world. More than 600 drawings selected and sent to Brussels for final selection. The 14 overall winners have been selected by a jury of 50 children from the European School of Brussels I.
As well as for their originality, creativity and artistic quality, winners were selected according to their capacity in expressing a strong message relevant to the context of their country. As in the previous events, the drawings embody hope and at the same time act as a witness to a sometimes difficult reality. Many of the children involved in the competition have backgrounds presenting extreme social and human conditions, such as in Afghanistan, and very often express through their drawings the harsh reality of their everyday life by depicting war scenes and the anguish and pain that they cause.
The Drawing Competition, organised for the fourth year in a row, has been able to mobilise and raise the awareness of both children and adults around the issue of gender equality. It has also given the EU Delegations the opportunity of opening the debate at institutional level by involving the relevant national and local authorities in the planning and implementation of the competition and in so doing enhancing ownership.
In November an exhibition of the winning drawings will take place at the Musée des Enfants in Brussels. The exhibition will be opened on the 9 November by Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, in the presence of some of the regional winners and will run until the 26 November, the day after the International Day for the Elimination of the Violence against Women.
The European Commission is deeply committed in mainstreaming gender equality through its development cooperation. On Monday 14 June the Foreign Affairs Council adopted the EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development for the period 2010-2015. The Action Plan, applicable to both the European Commission and Member States' development cooperation, aims to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on gender equality and maternal health, as well as to contribute to attaining other international development goals related to gender equality.
International Competition on Gender Equality - The winning drawings 2010
EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development:
Europe for Women