Women for Hungary awards honors those fighting Coronavirus

People who fought on the front lines but not in the spotlight were recognized at this year’s Women for Hungary awards.


Katalin Novák founded the Women for Hungary Club in 2018 and is its president today. According to Novák, the club establishes awards that will recognize women who set an example each year.

This year the focus was on those who were brave during the Coronavirus epidemic. The Minister for Family Affairs handed out awards to women who have demonstrated excellent behavior.

Awards were given in four categories: healthcare, education, social, and any other field. The awards came with a grand prize of HUF 5 million per category.

There were initially 500 candidates which a professional jury dwindled down to 20 names. Those names were then put to a public vote which included more than 12,000 people deciding on the four grand prize winners.

Novák noted that “It is often said that when someone loses their sight or hearing, their other senses become sharper. With the mask, we cover our mouths and noses, but we don’t cover our eyes, ears, and hearts, so we experience that the saying is true and the other senses are really strengthened. The epidemic may therefore strengthen our most important senses, our hearts.”

The winners included Barbara Fábián, Katalin Balatoni, Marika Klenik, and female members of the Virology Research group of the Szentágothai János Research Center at the University of Pécs.

Barbara Fábián won the healthcare category for her hard work of informing people about risks and prevention of the virus. As a single mother of three, she organized material procurement needed for mask production and took a leading role in the distribution of protective equipment.

Katalin Balatoni, a folk dance teacher, won the education category. She provided online content for those in Hungary in Hungarian, as well for those in the Carpathian Basin and all over the world.

Marika Klenik won the social care category. She left her grandchildren to move into an elderly care facility. She was there to help and encourage the residents, also taking up a role in mask production.

The female members of the Virology Research group of the Szentágothai János Research Center at the University of Pécs won the other category for their work in testing basic pharmaceutical products for their effectiveness in the inhibition of coronavirus.

This year’s ceremony took place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest on Monday.

Photo credit: csalad.hu