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Finland's first international gender equality prize goes to Angela Merkel

German chancellor Angela Merkel has been presented with Finland's newly-established International Gender Equality Prize.

Angela Merkel receives the International Gender Equality from Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. Image: Juha Roininen / EUP-Images

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has presented Finland's newly-established International Gender Equality Prize to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in recognition of her work "as a long-standing defender of human rights and human dignity and commitment to women and girls globally", according to a press release from the office of the Finnish Prime Minister.

"Let me say that I am very proud that I am the recipient of this prize and let me use this opportunity yet again to congratulate Finland on its 100th anniversary," Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying in a press statement on Thursday when she received the award.

"Chancellor Angela Merkel has become one of the world’s most influential people and is an example to many women and girls," said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on presenting the award in Brussels, according to a press statement.

Merkel will receive 150,000 euros to allocate to a specific cause strengthening the position of women and girls. Her choice will be announced at a high-level seminar in Tampere in 2018, although it is not yet clear whether Merkel herself will attend the seminar.

Finland established the International Gender Equality Prize as part of its centenary celebrations in recognition of one the country's "core values". The prize website states that Finland hopes the award will "promote discussion about gender equality in a global context".