Once a year, the Goethe-Institute awards the Goethe Medal, an official distinction from the German Federal Republic. This medal honors individuals who have displayed exceptional competence of the German language as well as in international cultural exchange. This year, three women are being distinguished with the award: Lebanese author, Emily Nasrallah; Russian journalist, translator and historian, Dr. Irina Lasarewna Scherbakowa; and Urvashi Butalia, who is from India.

Urvashi Butalia is a writer and publisher. She lives in New Delhi, where she’s taught at the university there for over twenty years. In 1984, she cofounded India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women. Today she runs Zubaan Books, one of the most ambitious publishing houses in India, which focuses on the social sciences, especially feminist issues. She is particularly engaged with marginalised social groups.