Five women journalists hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the grand jury and first runner-up awards at the Women’s Empowerment and Religious Freedom Film Competition held in Washington D.C, United States of America (USA).
Zeenat Khan, a journalist from Peshawar, took home the grand jury prize for her film ‘She Stood Against Religious Extremism’, along with a cash prize of $3,000. The film portrays a story of a young woman in a war-torn area of Pakistan, where she fights against religious and sectarian extremism by organizing dialogue sessions with the youth of different beliefs and religions.
In addition, Khalida Niaz won the first runner-up prize with a cash award of $1,500 for her film ‘Peace Promoters’ which is about a young woman who is based in Peshawar and fights religion-based violence by developing relationships among different faith preachers.
Moreover, three other women journalists worked with Zeenat and Khalida for their films, which include Fatima Nazish, Wagma Feroz, and Jamaima Afridi.
The competition was sponsored by Empower Women Media, and it showed ways in which inclusivity and inter-faith harmony empower women.
It is imperative to know that Zeenat and Khalida were shortlisted among 36 applicants who participated in Pakistan Media Training Fellowship by Empower Women Media.
Director Empower Women Media, Shirin Taber, said, “We were amazed to witness the tenacity and creativity of the Pakistani women filmmakers,” and added, “They took risks to share their women’s empowerment and religious freedom stories. Their films have the potential to change lives and shift the culture at large. We need more women media advocates like them!”.
Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights congratulated Khalida and Zeenat, in their tweet which read, “NWJDR is proud to share that our two members, Zeenat and Khalida have won grand prize and 1st runner up in 2022 Women’s Empowerment and Religious Freedom Film Competition for their films, She Stood Against Religious Extremism & Peace Promoters respectively”.