The purpose of the National Equality and Diversity Awards is to recognize individuals, organizations, initiatives, non-profit organizations, business establishments as well as the legal, academic and corporate community that have demonstrated outstanding achievements and sustained commitment to the pursuit of diversity, equality and inclusion in the society.
The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson together with the National Equality and Diversity Forum have been organising National Equality and Diversity Awards every year since 2014. These Awards are given to the individuals, organizations, ideas or projects, initiatives, deeds and actions for their outstanding impact on equality and diversity.
Candidates are awarded in 9 categories:
- The award for Gender Equality is given for non-stereotypical treatment of women and men in society.
- The award of Nations Dialogue is given for contribution to ethnic communities integration, fight against xenophobia, racial and ethnic stereotypes reduction processes.
- The Rainbow Appreciation award is given for the contribution to the LGBT+ rights, reducing homophobia, transphobia, the harm of biphobia and promoting LGBT+ openness and greater integration into society.
- The award "Best age - my age" is given for promoting potential and goals at work, leisure or engaging in social activities, despite one's young or old age, for uniting people of all age generations.
- The award of Overcoming Obstacles is given for overcoming physical, social, cultural barriers and ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy a decent life and participate in society.
- The award of Religious Diversity is given for contribution to the the principle of freedom of religion and religious diversity in Lithuania.
- The Breakthrough of the Year award is given for the widely spread deed, activity, initiative, work on promoting diversity and equality in society.
- The award of Media Voice is given to the media, who's work, action or initiative encourages individuals' diversity in society and protects human rights.
- The award of Lifetime Achievement is given to a person for their achievements in the field of human rights and their actions, ideas contributed to equality, diversity and tolerance.
HOW WINNERS ARE SELECTED?
Selection of winners takes place in two stages:
- At the first stage the various institutions, organizations, municipalities and all interested persons can nominate candidates in one of the abovementioned categories by writing for what actions or initiatives nominee is proposed. After the nominations for the awards are gathered, the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman organises the meeting of human rights and equal opportunities experts. These experts compose the Selection Committee. During the meeting of the Selection Committee, out of all offers received in each category, 3 nominees in each category are selected for the further voting.
- In the second selection phase, general society can vote for one of the 3 nomineed in each category online. The final score for each nominee is composed of the Selection Committee's secret voting and online voting results. Selection Committee and public voting each comprise 50 percent of the final score. The nominee that has the highest score of Selection Committee and online voters is announced the a winner in their category.
Lifetime Achievement award is not available for the online voting as the Commission selects the winner by secret voting.