PROUD - Platforma pro rovnoprávnost, uznání a diverzitu

PROUD - Platforma pro rovnoprávnost, uznání a diverzitu

platforma pro
rovnoprávnost,
uznání a diverzitu

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The bePROUD awards were presented for the 5th time on 17 May 2016, this time for 2015. The gala night was organized by PROUD - a platform for equality, recognition and diversity in cooperation with the embassy of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic. The event took place at the residence of the ambassador of the Netherlands, His Excellency Eduard M. W. Hoeks in Prague 6, whose country was holding the presidency the UE, and coincided with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is marked on 17 May.

The gala was directed by Lukáš Pečenka and turned out as a prestigious and unique event. A great contribution to that  came from the moderators Lejla Abbasová and Ester Janečková. The guest list included, apart from numerous members of the Czech political, cultural and academic scene, many representatives of foreign embassies (USA, Sweden, France) and of Czech and multinational companies that were candidates for the bePROUD Employer of the Year award. That is why the moderation was bilingual – Czech and English. A welcome diversion came in the shape of Marketa Prochazkova’s songs, accompanied by the pianist Ester Godkovksa. The flowers were provided by the Serafin company.

The presentation was inaugurated by His Excellency Eduard M. W. Hoeks with a very encouraging and inspirational speech on the rights of LGBT people in the Netherlands and in the Czech Republic. His Excellency mentioned for instance the fact that the Netherlands were the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages, in Aprilie 2001, and in the same year legalized adoptions rights for LGBT couples. In the  Czech Republic we marked this year the 10th anniversary of the `registered partnership` law, but we still haven’t succeeded in our prolonged effort to amend that law to include adoption rights – at least the right to adopt the partner’s biological child.

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As always, 5 awards were presented.

 1. Deed of the Year 2015 PROUD award. The prize goes to an event which in the past year lead to a better understanding of the LGBT people, helped the community’s good name or improved the lives of LGBT people. The nominations came from the general public through an online polls at www.beproud.cz. PROUD’s executive committee then shortlisted 5 events and selected the winner.

The nominations were:

1. The report Rainbow Families In the Shadow Of the State by Petra Kutálkova
2.The Letí Theater performance Small Town Boy.
3 The student short film Furiant by Ondřej Hudečkek
4. The opening of the Queer Memory Center of the Society for Queer Memory (SPQP).
5. The counseling service Sbarvouven.cz for a smooth LGBT coming out.

The winner was The Society for Queer Memory (SPQP) for opening of the Queer Memory Center. On June 1, 2015, the Society opened in Prague the non-profit Queer Memory Center, which creates the conditions to work on preserving the memories of the older LGBT generation, to study the LGBT history and to store related collections. It also serves as a space where to present the results of that work to the general public and as a meeting point for LGBT seniors. More at www.queerpamet.cz.

The prize was accepted by Marie Barešová, chairperson of the Society for Queer Memory.

2. The bePROUD Employer of the year prize is awarded annually to a company/organization that is open and tolerant, does not discriminate against its employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity and – on the contrary –welcomes them. An example could be an inclusive attitude towards an employee who has had a sex change after his/her partner’s child, or other measures denoting a friendly attitude of the company’s management towards employees, irrespective of their sexual orientation and sexual identity.

„This year was an exceptional one for this prize. We had big names from all types of business, such as the Modry Andel taxi service, the natural cosmetics producer LUSH, the locomotive and tram maker Škoda Transportation, the internet and cable provider UPC, mobile phone company Vodafone, the law firm Dentons, the Traxial developer company… We want to thank all the companies for their participation, which underlines the fact that diversity at work has become a central issue. It was indeed very tough to select a winner.”, said Petr Laně, coordinator of the bePROUD awards.

The Employer of the Year award went to Vodafone. A panel of experts appreciated the fact that it is one of the few companies which have a separate policy paper regarding the rights and the condition of LGBT people. Company benefits are available to LGBT parents. In general it is obvious that Vodafone Czech Republic is giving the LGBT issue a lot of attention, also thanks to its cooperation with its sister-companies abroad, which can offer positive examples and experiences.

The prize was presented by Martina Štěpánková, deputy to Czech human rights minister Jiří Dienstbier, and was accepted by accepted by Jana Vychroňová, HR Business Partner at Vodafone.

3. BePROUD Media prize. This award is for someone who in the past year has published a positive media portrayal or work of art about an LGBT person. It can be a character in a TV serial or theater play, in a movie or in documentary film. Also eligible are the authors of articles, reports or interviews on LGBT-related topics. The winner was selected by the PROUD executive board.

The prize went to Ivana Karásková, from the MF DNES daily, for a series of reports on LGBT topics + people and was presented by the Press Attaché of the US embassy Daniel Ernst.

4. BePROUD award for Lifetime Achievements. This prize is for those who have spend a long time and a lot of energy to improve the awareness about LGBT people  and supported the expansion of their rights at home and abroad. Such people have often been discriminated because of their views, but nevertheless continued their work. The winner is selected by a panel of previous winners, the organizers of the former Colour Planet Prizes, representatives of PROUD and of the Society for Queer Memory.

The prize went to Džamila Stehlíková.

As a medic and a politician, dr. Džamila Stehlíková has a long history of involvement in the progress of the LGBT community in the Czech Republic. She started working with the gay and lesbian movement in the mid 90ies, when she published with Ivo Procházka and Jiří Hromada the first far-reaching study of the situation of the gay community after the 1989 revolution. In 2007-2009 Džamila Stehlíková was a government minister for human rights and national minorities. Her department prepared the anti-discrimination bill, which protects people from discrimination on various grounds, including sexual orientation. She also oversaw an Analysis of the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minority in the Czech Republic, and then as a member of government promoted its recommendations, including the one regarding the adoption of the partner’s biological child. Dr. Stehlíková has a long history of involvement in the fight against AIDS and was the manager of the National HIV/AIDS Program in 2009-2014. And we mustn’t forget that as a psychiatrist she personally helped a number of LGBT people.

This prize was presented by Anna Šabatová, public ombudsman.

5.The Rainbow anti-prize protiPROUD („Against the current”) This is the prize that no-one is willing to pick up personally. This an „award” for hate and homophobia, and it can go to companies and people, for instance authors of books, songs, articles, movies, to celebrities who felt they must share their prejudices or act according to them.  Nominations were made by the general public at . The winner of this award is selected by the PROUD  board. „Every year we hope there won’t be anyone Zdeněk Sloboda.

The winner of the BePROUD anti-prize for 2015 is the Czech psychologist dr. Jaroslav Šturma. The award „recognizes” his long-term negative attitude toward the LGBT in the media. Dr. Šturma was a long time chairman of the Czech-Moravian Psyhcological Society. In this quality he has been often invited to media debates on topics such as the capacity of LGBT people to be parents or foster parents.

As usual, the winner did not come to pick up this anti-award.

The BeProud awards are presented annualy and are organized by PROUD - a platform for equality, recognition and diversity, which promotes equal rights for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender. Contact: www.proudem.cz

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