Nawal El Saadawi receives Women of the Year Award

Egyptian writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi has been been honoured at this year’s Women of the Year’s Awards.

The novelist, feminist and activist, who who has been imprisoned and exiled as a result of her work campaigning for women’s rights, was presented with the Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her work.

El Saadawi, who will be speaking at the Frontline Club on Friday, said she was happy to receive the award because it means that her creative work gains “more and more recognition” from her peers and others.

“Winning this award encourages me to continue my creative dissident writing and fighting,” she said. “I am always hopeful – especially since the revolution in Egypt in 2011; women will unite in the Egyptian Women Union and fight locally and globally for their rights. As for me, I am writing a new novel inspired by the revolution.”

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, president of the Women of the Year, wrote that the awards still matter because "not enough has changed" for women: "We still need to take stock of the reality of many women’s lives – with low pay, domestic violence, rape, poor education and a lack of opportunity still blighting the chances of so many," she said.

Speaking of the award, which was presented today to El Saadawi, Baroness Kennedy said:  “Nawal was a leading voice in Tahir Square arguing for democratic reforms and encouraging young students and women to fight for their beliefs.” “She has shown great strength and courage and we are thrilled that she has been able to accept this award from Women of the Year.”