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University of Alicante will award its 2020 Equality Award to María Teresa Fernández de la Vega at the proposal of the Social Council

The award will be presented in the context of the 40th anniversary ceremony, at the St. Thomas Aquinas celebrations


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Alicante, Friday 24 January 2020 

This morning, the UA Governing Council unanimously approved the proposal to award its 2020 Equality Award to María Teresa Fernández De la Vega, proposed to the Equality Committee by the University of Alicante Social Council.  On behalf of the highest representative body of society, its Vice Chairwoman Cristina Rodes highlighted the essential contribution to education and training of African women made by the Valencian magistrate and politician. 

As Vice President  for Corporate Social Responsibility, Inclusion and Gender Equality María José Rodríguez Jaume highlighted in defence of the proposal, one of the key factors of her long professional career is her pioneering work in having been the first woman to perform leading roles in the history of Spain. She was the first Vice President of the Spanish Government, Minister of the Spanish Presidency and Presidential spokesperson, with Rodríguez Zapatero; the first woman member of the Spanish association of Judges for Democracy and the first Chairwoman of the Council of State in Spain, just to mention some of her accomplishments.

From her time as the Vice President of the Spanish Government, she was very interested in the role of women on the African continent. She promoted the Network of Spanish and African Women for a Better World with the participation of UN Women, the Spanish government and civil society organizations. After leaving the Government, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega created the Women for Africa Foundation of which she is currently the Chief Executive President. This private Foundation was created with the aim of becoming a national and international benchmark, committed to sustainable economic and social development, human rights, peace, justice and the dignity of people, especially of women and girls on the African continent.

Graduated in Law from the Complutense University and a graduate in Community Law from the University of Strasbourg, she has received numerous awards and recognition for her professional career and her defence of women's rights. In addition to being a Honorary Doctor from the Menendez Pelayo International University, she has received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun of Peru, the Isabel de Villena Award, the Tomás y Valiente Award, the Meridiana Award in the category of Personal and Professional Career Recognition nationwide and the Gold Insignia of the UGT-Asturias Primero de Mayo awards for her tireless activism for equality and as the chief executive president of Women for Africa Foundation.

The relationship of the former Vice President of the Spanish Government with the University of Alicante dates back to 2005 as a result of her participation in the summer course 'Encuentro de Alicante de Análisis Político'. In 2017, the University of Alicante signed two collaboration agreements with the Women for Africa Foundation for the implementation of postgraduate scholarships for African women to study at the University of Alicante. 

The award ceremony will take place next Friday, January 31st as part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the creation of the University of Alicante, coinciding with St. Thomas Aquinas celebrations.




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