You are cordially invited to attend the ceremony of the “European Women’s International Leadership Award” 2024.

The first ceremony took place in March 2019 in the European Parliament in Brussels. Since then – due to the COVID-19 restrictions – the ceremony is hosted by the Brussels EU Representation of the German State of Hesse:

Monday, 29 January 2024
18.00 Welcome drink, 18.30 Ceremony, 21.00 Networking reception

European Women’s International Leadership Award 2024
Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU
Rue Montoyer 21
B-1000 Brussels

Friedrich von Heusinger, Director of the Representation of the State of Hesse to the European Union, will give a welcome speech.

The following eight women have been selected:

  • Manon Brulard (Belgium)
  • Barbara Dietrich (Poland/Germany)
  • Marième Fall-Albertini (Senegal/France)
  • Vera Futorjanski (Kazakhstan/Germany/UAE)
  • Barbara Helfferich (Germany/Belgium)
  • Cristelle Pratt (Fiji)
  • Olesia Rusinova (Ukraine/Croatia)
  • Rita Maria Zniber (Morocco)

Five years ago, the idea was born to create an award for extraordinary women: the European Women’s International Leadership Award. We are focusing on women who at a certain moment of their life, have decided to follow their dream, to break with traditional obligations around them, to challenge male-dominated areas, to act in a respectful way in order to give an example to all those women who do not (yet) dare to raise their voice and to develop their potential.

European Women’s International Leadership Award

Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU

© Antonin Weber

Manon Brulard (Belgium)

Having grown up in Belgium, Manon Brulard was keen to travel far away from a very young age. The Belgian-born woman therefore left at 16 for two months to Canada. Aged 18, she visited the US and Spain. Manon Brulard and her family had moved into an old abbey converted into housing. She grew up with a sense of freedom which proved crucial for her future… ( read more )


Barbara Dietrich (Germany)

Born into the German-speaking minority in Southern Poland in Brieg/Brzeg, a city with the earliest
signs of settlement 10,000 years ago, Barbara Dietrich was not allowed to learn the language of
her parents, was educated by catholic nuns and witnessed as a seven year old girl in front of her
window soldiers from an invading army – on the way to the neighbouring country – killing a man…( read more )


Marième Fall-Albertini (Senegal, France)

Born from a family active in the medical sector, in St. Louis, the former Senegalese capital, a city
honoured as UNESCO World Heritage Site, now threatened socially by overfishing and in general
by climate related floods. Raised with four siblings – after a divorce – alone by her mother, Marième
engaged herself – outside the school hours – in playing football, handball and theatre… ( read more )


Vera Futorjanski (Kazakhstan, Germany, UAE)

The journey of Vera Futorjanski has been marked by rich experiences in over ten countries. Her aspiration is driven by a profound commitment to global understanding and the desire to foster positive change. Born in Kazakhstan and having lived in Germany, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Spain, Argentina, China, Belgium, and now the UAE… ( read more )


Barbara Helfferich (Germany, Belgium) 

Born as the youngest of four children, Barbara Helfferich grew up in a region in Northern Germany well known
for its key role in peace issues (“Peace of Westphalia Treaty”, ending the 30-year war). Her upbringing was
primarily in the hands of her charismatic mother, one of the first women in Germany to be admitted to study
veterinary medicine… ( read more )


Cristelle Pratt (Fiji)

Cristelle Pratt is from the Fiji Islands (a country of 330 islands and more than 500 islets) – nestled within the sea of islands that make up the Blue Pacific Continent. At the age of three, she – as the second child of four children – lost her biological father to the sea. This was especially tragic for her mother, who was faced with the arduous task of raising three small children alone… ( read more )


Olesia Rusinova (Ukraine, Croatia)

Olesia Rusinova was born in Odesa – also called “the pearl of the overseas”, a formerly Greek city built in the third century, a cultural and artistic hub and the city of tolerance with over 150 nationalities living in it. She is the seventh generation in a row born in that Ukrainian city… ( read more


Rita Maria Zniber (Morocco)

Born in Morocco, Rita Maria Zniber began learning music theory and piano between the ages of three and five. During her school years at Lycée Descartes, the French high school in Rabat, she became a keen sportswoman and a top athlete, holding among past records, the Moroccan record in women’s long jump at the age of thirteen, she was captain of her basketball team, equestrian… ( read more )