Fierce Women Awards 2021

Nonprofit media VoxFeminae and the social enterprise Fierce Women, held the 2nd Fierce Women awards ceremony last night. The event was broadcasted live from the Zagreb bar Botaničar, where this year’s winners, Monika Herceg, Zrinka Bojanić, Maja Sever, Antonija Petricusic and Zagreb Psychological Society, were presented.

In the year of the pandemic, which significantly changed everyone’s daily life, Antonija Petričušić warned that children are more burdened by online schooling than in regular classes and that children’s right to equal participation in classes is being violated. She organized and motivated parents who tried to cope with a changed form of education. In mid-2020, she was part of the team that launched an initiative for the right of children to a free school meal. She also found the time to introduce an elective course on Women’s rights at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, and was one of the founders of the LGBTIQA+ association ‘For Law’, which brings together students of the Faculty of Law with the aim of creating a safe, supportive, and open environment for LGBTIQ people.

Maja Sever, journalist and president of the Croatian Journalists’ Union, is known for her social engagement, humanitarian work and rising up against hate speech, sexism and injustice. As president of the CJU, she advocated for the protection of the labor rights of journalists, whose working conditions have deteriorated since the beginning of the pandemic, called on journalists to report sexual harassment and abuse, and represented the interests of her colleagues as a union commissioner. Sever is also one of the founders of the humanitarian initiative “People for People”, which she launched with last year’s Fierce Women WoW award winner Branka Bakšić Mitić and Mateja Medlobi, after her journalistic report on the difficult living conditions of people around the city of Glina was broadcasted.

As an author, Monika Herceg actively promotes the ideas of equality, justice and feminism. Only in 2020, Herceg received the HNK award for the best new play ‘Where to buy tenderness’, which focuses on violence against women and the transgenerational transmission of trauma and women’s relationships in a patriarchal environment. She won the regional award ‘Stories from the Balcony, Stories from the Balkans’ for the short drama ‘Dead Don’t Move’. With Barbara Matejčić and Dado Ćosić, she is involved in actions related to combating violence against migrants. Last year, she published her third collection of poems, ‘Time Before Language’, for which she received the ‘Zvonko Milković’ award. She also started a series of forums ‘Poets on Fridays’ where she focuses on the work of poets.

The team of the Zagreb Psychological Society was awarded for a systematic and sober response to social events, especially in the aftermath of the earthquakes that hit Croatia and pandemic. They published relevant content available to all in which they provided expert advice and promoted science and human rights. During the year, they tirelessly produced content that was relevant to the situation, and selflessly shared it on their pages and social networks. They helped make it easier for citizens to cope with the COVID-19 virus pandemic, earthquakes, uncertainty, helplessness, but also poor crisis management and sensationalist media coverage.

Congrats to our 5 winners, awesome women who made a significant contribution to gender equality and social justice in Croatia in 2020, and to all Fierce Women who were nominated for the award!

The portraits of this year’s winners were created by Tea Jurišić, Ana Salopek, Sindy Čolić, Helena Nemec and Ana Kovačić, wonderful artists whose style you may recognize form our Fierce Women card game.