Each year, the Geneva Summit presents two prestigious awards at its event: the Courage Award and the Women’s Rights Award. These awards are presented annually to outstanding individuals who show bravery and fortitude in upholding the values of our Summit. Awardees challenge the status quo in their respective spheres of influence and promote human rights around the world.

Previous Award Recipients

Courage Award

  • 2021: Alexey Navalny: Jailed Russian opposition leader and survivor of poisoning attack.
  • 2020: Biram Dah Abeid: Leader of the fight against slavery in Mauritania. Press release.
  • 2019: Dhondup Wangchen: Former political prisoner and Tibetan filmmaker who exposed life under Chinese rule through a groundbreaking documentary. Press Release.
  • 2018: Vladimir Kara-Murza: Leading dissident against Russia’s Putin regime, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation, and survivor of two poisoning attempts. Press Release.
  • 2017: Mohamed Nasheed, Former President of the Maldives, the country’s leading human rights activist, and former political prisoner. Press Release.
  • 2016: Antonio Ledezma (represented by his daughter Antonietta Ledezma), Former Mayor of Caracas, currently in exile after being put on house arrest on politically-motivated charges, AND Leopoldo Lopez (represented by his aunt Julieta Lopez), Venezuelan Opposition leader who was sentenced to 13 years in prison on trumped-up charges, Latin America’s best-known prisoner of conscience. Press Release.
  • 2015: Raif Badawi (represented by his wife Ensaf Haidar), Saudi blogger and human rights activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and condemned to 1,000 lashes for his activism.
  • 2014: Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer who escaped house arrest in China and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He now works to promote human rights in rural areas of China.

Women’s Rights Award

  • 2021: Gulalai Ismail: Pakistani women’s rights activist, political prisoner and escapee after going into forced hiding
  • 2020: Shaparak Shajarizadeh: Iranian activist imprisoned for removing headscarf in defiance of hijab law. Press Release.
  • 2019: Nimco Ali: Leading advocate for the global eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM). Press Release.
  • 2018: Julienne Lusenge, Congolese women’s rights champion fighting rape as a weapon of war and president of Solidarité Féminine pour la paix et le développement Intégra (SOFEPADI). Press Release.
  • 2017: Shirin, Freed Yazidi sex slave of the Islamic State and author of “I Remain a Daughter of the Light.” Press Release.
  • 2016: Vian Dakhil, the only female Yazidi member of Iraqi Parliament, made an internationally-heard plea for assistance to Yazidi people under persecution by the Islamic State AND Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, a German psychologist who created a clinic in northern Iraq for women victimized by the Islamic State. Press Release.
  • 2015: Masih Alinejad, an Iranian freelance journalist and a leader in the campaign against the mandatory headscarf in Iran.