Name: Lepa Mladjenovic
Where: The Balkans
What she does: Campaigner for women’s rights and against war and fascism.
Impact: A ‘movement builder’ – organising workshops and events to share work on violence against women.
Nominated by: Liz Kelly
Lepa Mladjenovic is an indefatigable campaigner for women’s rights and against war and fascism. For more than twenty years she has worked in the Autonomous Women’s Centre in Belgrade, which stayed open throughout the war and was available to all women. Since the end of the war she has been a ‘movement builder’ in the region, organising workshops and events through which women across Former Yugoslavia meet and share their work on violence against women. She was also a strong leader in the Balkans region for Women in Black, the anti-militarism network linking women across the globe, and is still active, attending recently a conference in Guatemala in which indigenous women explored alternative forums for justice for women raped in war.
Perhaps her most courageous work has been being out as a lesbian in an extremely hostile context, and making herself available to young women whenever they need support. She was recognised for her activism, leadership and compassion with the opening of the ‘Lepa Mladjenovic reading room’ in an alternative centre inNovi Sad. Tributes were read here from women who know and love her from across the globe.