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FOCUS ON: How DVF Celebrates and Elevates Extraordinary Women

A focal point of Feminism is women honoring and uplifting each other, defining their own stories of success and strength. An important F-Word here is Foundation, because women recognizing and elevating other women is foundational in the push for gender equity — and because designer Diane von Furstenberg and the Diller-von Furstenberg Foundation have created a system for doing just that.

A focal point of Feminism is women honoring and uplifting each other, defining their own stories of success and strength.

Since 2010, the DVF Awards have commended and supported exemplary women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive, and the leadership to inspire. These are women who dedicate their visibility and resources to transforming the lives of other women, and in addition to the $50,000 the Diller-von Furstenberg Foundation contributes to the causes with which the award recipients are affiliated, the women are recognized for the specific nature of their distinctly feminist accomplishments.


Each year, five awards are given in four categories. The doubled-down category is for women within the Vital Voices’ Global Leadership Network who are demonstrably advancing the social, economic, and political position of women in their respective countries. In the first year of the DVF Awards one of these two honorees was Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, who founded the Oruj Learning Center in Afghanistan — and now Oruj-run schools educate more than 3,200 girls.

In digitally democratic fashion, the recipient of the People’s Voice Award is chosen by popular vote from a select number of nominees presented on the DVF Awards website. In 2013, the public’s vote honored Tammy Tibbets of She’s the First, an organization that sponsors girls’ education in developing countries so they can be the first in their families to graduate from high school.

There is also the Inspiration Award for women who have demonstrated singular strength and courage in the face of adversity, and are synthesizing their experience to influence positive change. The 2012 Inspiration Award honoree was Jaycee Dugard, who after being abducted and held captive for eighteen years created the JAYC Foundation to ensure the timely treatment and support of families recovering from abduction or the aftermath of other traumas.

The final category is the Lifetime Leadership Award, given each year to an individual who has dedicated her entire life and body of work to instilling power and courage in other women. Recipients of this award are an esteemed group that includes Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Gloria Steinem.


F is for Foundation, F is for Feminism, and F is for Finding Extraordinary Women Everywhere You Look. That’s what the DVF Awards do, and they’re set to support even more fantastic females in 2016.