HELSINKI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Finland's second International Gender Equality Prize has been awarded to Equality Now, a global non-governmental organization, in recognition of its prominent work in combating gender inequality and changing discriminatory laws across the globe, the Finnish government said on Monday.
Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of Equality Now, received the prize on behalf of her organization at the award ceremony held in Tampere, western Finland, on Monday afternoon.
"Equality for women and girls is the solution to some of the biggest challenges the world is facing today," said Hassan, adding that it is the smartest investment for humanity.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who chaired the jury, said that the main obstacles for progress in global gender equality were negative attitudes and structures. Discriminatory laws and practices still exist in all countries of the world, he said.
"The effectiveness of Equality Now lies precisely in its ability to change laws and harmful practices," Haavisto said.
This year's prize money is 300,000 euros (332,200 U.S. dollars), which will be allocated to the organization's campaign for equal family law, according to the government.
About 300 proposals from more than 60 countries were submitted for consideration for the award during the open nomination period, and the final decision was based on the recommendation of an independent international jury.
Established in New York in 1992, Equality Now is an non-governmental organization that advocates for the protection and promotion of human rights of women and girls.
The International Gender Equality Prize was launched by the Finnish government in 2017 to promote equality and to celebrate Finland's 100 years of independence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was the first recipient of the prize, donated the prize money of 150,000 euros to an organization that seeks to end domestic violence in Nigeria.