The Yayori Awards were created through the final will and funds of the late Yayori Matsui, a well-known journalist and activist on feminist and human rights issues. Her many accomplishments include establishing the Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center (AJWRC), organizing the Violence Against Women in War Network, Japan (VAWW-NET Japan), and acting as a key organizer for the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in 2000.
The Yayori Awards are presented during each competition round in two separate categories:
1) The Women's Human Rights Activities Award (commonly referred to as the Yayori Award) is presented to a grassroots-level woman activist, journalist, or artist who works with socially marginalized peoples to solve serious social issues in Asia and other regions, and whose work helps to create a 21st century free from war and discrimination against women.Winners in both categories will receive a certificate and a monetary award in the amount of 500,000 yen. In the event that multiple awardees are selected for the Yayori Journalist Award, the money will be divided amongst all recipients.
Nomination forms for this award must be submitted in English. Self-nominations will not be accepted.
2) The Yayori Journalist Award is presented to a woman journalist or artist (either an individual or group) who vividly portrays the situation of women from a global gender perspective.
Self-nominations for this award are acceptable. Since the nominee’s future work shall be subject to publication in Japanese, however, all submissions must be in the Japanese language.
Past winners have included a group of women working to bring justice to victims of sexual violence committed during the civil war in Guatemala, a feminist photojournalist from Nepal working on issues of peace and human rights, and numerous others doing important work for empowerment and justice at the grassroots level. The Japan Times did a feature story on the 2008 Yayori Journalist Award winner's work on the fight against nuclear power plants in a Japanese town.
The organizing committee is seeking nominations from around the world for both awards, and will send printed leaflets upon request. The deadline for this year’s competition is August 31, 2010.
Detailed information regarding the awards, including a pamphlet, nomination forms, and list of all past award recipients are all available on the Yayori Award website.