STA, 14 February 2022 - Anthropologist and sociologist Nika Kovač, the founder and head of NGO the 8 March Institute, has been named the Slovenian Woman of the Year 2021 by the women's magazine Jana and its readers.
The 8 March Institute has been warning of inequalities and the problems of the most vulnerable, the magazine said. "She (Kovač) is aware that the power lies in the community and she has been proving this constantly," Jana said in a press release.
Kovač has mobilised more than 600,000 citizens to vote on changes to the waters act, which were overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum in July 2021, the press release stressed.
"That she is definitely a future leader had been noticed by the Obama Foundation as well, which first accepted her to a programme for 40 future European leaders and then picked her as the only representative of Europe among 15 young people who have been changing the world for the better and will continue to do so."
Currently an Obama scholar and researcher at the Columbia University, New York, Kovač remains active in Slovenia as well, building a community with her compassion and perseverance.
At last night's ceremony, she accepted a unique statuette, a work of artist Ljubica Ratkajec Kočica, from Jana's editor-in-chief Melita Berzelak.
Among those shortlisted for the award were climber Janja Garnbret, actor Zvezdana Mlakar, Špela Miroševič, a researcher who initiated research into her son's rare genetic disease, activist Andreja Slameršek and Emilija Stojmenova Duh, the professor who supported students protesting against school closure.
Shortlisted as a group were also founders of the NGO Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy.