PARIS: Two Pakistani women were awarded the prestigious Chirac Prize for “conflict prevention” in recognition of their contributions towards development of a culture of peace and non-violence through the action of women and youth in Pakistan.

Gulalai Ismail and Saba Ismail co-founder of NGO “Aware Girls” were presented the award by Former French Minister for Culture Chirstine Albanel in a ceremony held in Quai Branly Museum, Paris on Thursday.

The ceremony was attended by French President Francois Hollande, Ambassador of Pakistan to France Moinul Haque, intellectuals, members of civil society, diplomats and media persons.

Gulalai, after receiving the prize, said their NGO with the help of young women is working successfully for the empowerment of women, especially in conflict zones to bring about qualitative changes in their way of life.

Speaking at the occasion, the French president paid rich tribute to 'Aware Girls'. He stated that Aware Girls is giving women the possibility to participate in and monitor elections, to provide education to women and economically empowering them by providing micro-credit.

The ambassador congratulated the recipients on receiving the Chirac prize and appreciated their work towards empowerment of women in conflict prone areas.

The Chirac Foundation was launched by former French President Jacques Chirac, who served two terms in office between 1995 and 2007. Since 2008, this foundation strives for peace through five advocacy programmes which include Conflict Prevention. The prize for conflict prevention has been awarded every year since 2009.

The Aware Girls is young women led Organisation, established in 2002 with the aim of strengthening leadership skills of young people especially young women and girls enabling them to act as agents of change for women empowerment and peace building.