We are happy to announce that on 19th of September, Finnish Minister Elisabeth Rehn received the Harish Mahindra Memorial Global Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion of Peace and Crisis Management at Priyadarshni Academy's Global Awards in Mumbai by Indian Hon'ble Minister Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. Minister Rehn held a speech at the event, which you can read by clicking the link below.
Elisabeth Rehn was the first woman in the world working in a full time capacity as Minister of Defence. Rehn worked as the Minister of Defence of Finland from 1990 until 1995, and she has worked for human rights and peacebuilding throughout her career. During her term, she started the process that led to the women’s access to voluntary military service in Finland. Rehn was also the Minister of Equality Affairs, and implemented the so called quota law that ensures equal representation of genders on public committees and working groups.
After withdrawing from day-to-day politics, Rehn moved on to a significant international career. In 1995, the UN Secretary-General at the time Kofi Annan invited her become a human rights observer in the former Yugoslavia region. In 1998, Rehn was appointed as the UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the 2000s, she has been working on several expert roles, especially among human rights and peacebuilding: for example, in the Women’s Bank and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
“The lessons I have learned led me to the conclusion that sustainable peace can never be reached without the full involvement of women on all levels”, said Elisabeth Rehn in her speech when receiving the Award.