The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation has supported the awards, and they are given to four women whose leadership and commitment have transformed the lives of other women around the world. The winners each receive $50,000 to further their work.
Von Furstenberg announced two winners of the Vital Voices Awards, one winner of the People's Voice Award and an award to the public figure who has demonstrated strength and courage in the face of adversity, and who now uses her influence to improve the lives of women. This year's public figure award winner is Elizabeth Smart.
Smart was kidnapped when she was 14 years old and held captive for nine months. She was repeatedly raped during that time. Smart now works to prevent child abductions through advocacy and education.
The Vital Voice Award winners are Kekenya Ntaiya of Kenya and Sohini Chakraborty of India, and the winner of the People's Voice Award is Taryn Davis of The American Widow Project. This award is chosen by popular online vote.
The other nominees were Zeynab Eyega of the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women, Lyn Pentecost of the Lower East Side Girl's Club, Susannah Shakow of Running Start and Malika Saada Saar of The Rebecca Project.
Click HERE to learn more about the DVF Awards and the honorees.
Click HERE for more about The American Widow Project.
Click HERE for more about the Vital Voices awardees.