Fashion designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg started the annual DVF Awards to recognize and support women who use their resources, commitment and visibility to transform the lives of other women.
Since its inception in 2010, the DVF Awards have each year honored five recipients whose work on a range of issues and initiatives improve the social, economic and political standing of women around the world. Supported by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, the awards help give the recipients the exposure and resources they need to continue their work.
Each honoree gets a $50,000 award from the foundation to further her efforts.
Awards are presented in the following categories:
-- The People's Voice Award recipient is chosen by popular vote from a select number of nominees who are doing significant work on behalf of women. The nominees for this award are Talia Leman from Random Kid, an organization that provides staff and services to youth for help in managing and accomplishing their goals; Tammy Tibbetts from She's the First, an organization that sponsors girls' education helping them to be the first in their families to graduate; Col. Kim Olson from Grace After Fire, which promotes self-renewal among women veterans, and Tina Frundt from Courtney's House, which helps survivors of sex trafficking. The public is invited to vote online at dvfawards.com beginning Monday, March 11.
-- Two awards are given to women from Vital Voices Global Partnership, a nongovernmental organization that trains emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe. The awardees in this category are recognized for advancing the social, economic, and political position of women in their respective countries. This year's award winners are Andeisha Farid of Afghanistan and Sunitha Krishnan of India. Farid spent her childhood living in refugee camps and while there, began tutoring Afghani women and children who lacked a place to learn. Krishnan co-founded Prajwala -- or Eternal Flame -- a group that rescues women and children from brothels and provides quality education to prostitutes' children.
-- The Inspiration Award is given to a woman who has overcome tremendous adversity and used her experience and influence to create change.
-- The Lifetime Leadership Award is given to a woman who has dedicated her entire life's work to helping and inspiring other women.
Past DVF awardees include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Smart, an advocate for child safety.
The DVF Awards ceremony will be April 5 during Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World Conference in New York City.