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Women's media foundation honours journalists for their work in dangerous situations

Woman of courage: Correspondent Kimberly Dozier and award recipient and Afghan journalist Farida Nekzad attend the International Women's Media Foundation's 19th Annual Courage in Journalism Awards held earlier at the Beverly Hills Hotel on October 16, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.Photo: Associated Press (AP) / Vince Bucci

Four newswomen from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Cyprus and the United States have been honoured by an international journalism group for their work in difficult and dangerous situations that sometimes include risking their lives to tell a story.

Aye Aye Win, a correspondent for the Associated Press (AP) in Burma, was one of three women to receive Courage in Journalism Awards from the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) in New York on Tuesday, along with Farida Nekzad, managing editor of Pajhwok Afghan News, and Sevgul Uludag, an investigative reporter for Yeniduzen, a Cyprus newspaper.

Win said she faces constant threats from the nation's hard-line military regime, according to an AP report about the event. "A knock on the gate at midnight unnerves and traumatizes our lives... (but) I believe journalists have to take some risks if they are to challenge those who want to silence us from telling the truth," she said in a statement read by AP International Editor John Daniszewski.

Edith Lederer, an Associated Press (AP) reporter who has covered wars and other events around the globe for more than three decades and is now AP's chief correspondent at the United Nations, received the IWMF's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Aye Aye Win, a correspondent for the Associated Press in Burma (Myanmar), is one of the only women journalists in her country. Win works under the repressive Burmese junta, so her movements are closely monitored by authorities. She has been called “the axe-handle of the foreign press” by other media outlets in Myanmar because she has helped open the door for foreign journalists to report on the country. Still, she risks her own safety to report.

Farida Nekzad is the managing editor and deputy director of Pajhwok Afghan News and vice-president of the South Asia Media Commission. She frequently receives phone calls and email messages threatening her life. Despite working under tremendous pressure at a time when women journalists in particular are being threatened for their reporting in Afghanistan, Nekzad is committed to staying in her country to work toward a free press and greater equality for women journalists.

Sevgul Uludag is an investigative reporter for Yeniduzen newspaper in Cyprus. Uludag lives in the northern part of divided Cyprus but through her reporting attempts to ease the segregation between the Greek and Turkish communities. In doing so, she has faced many obstacles, including death threats and violent attacks. But neither hate campaigns nor psychological terror keep Uludag from publishing her articles.

In her more than four decades with the Associated Press, Edith Lederer has worked on every continent except Antarctica covering wars, famines, nuclear issues and political upheavals. She is currently the AP's chief correspondent at the United Nations. Lederer was the first female resident correspondent in Vietnam in 1972, the first woman to head an AP foreign bureau in Peru and the first journalist to file the bulletin announcing the start of the first Gulf War in 1991.

Date posted: October 22, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 435