Five women journalists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have won the grand jury and 1st runner up prizes at the Women’s Empowerment and Religious Freedom Film Competition in Washington D.C, USA.
Peshawar based journalist Zeenat Khan won the grand jury prize at the competition for her film ‘She Stood Against Religious Extremism’, making her the recipient of a $3,000 cash prize.
The film tells the true story of a young woman in a war-torn region of Pakistan who starts an initiative to counter religious extremism and sectarian violence by holding dialogue sessions with youth from different beliefs and religions.
Meanwhile Khalida Niaz won the 1st runner up prize, which nabbed her a cash prize of $1,500, for her film ‘Peace Promoters’.
Three other Pakistani journalists worked with Zeenat and Khalida on their films, namely Fatima Nazish, Wagma Feroz and Jamaima Afridi.
In the film, a young woman in Peshawar, Pakistan counters religious-based violence by building relationships among different faith influencers.
The Women’s Empowerment and Religious Freedom Film Competition was sponsored by Empower Women Media, and it explores how inclusivity and multi-faith living empowers women and leads to thriving communities.
The two Peshawar based journalists, Zeenat and Khalida were chosen from as many as 36 applicants who took part in Empower Women Media’s Pakistan Media Training Fellowship.
“We were amazed to witness the tenacity and creativity of the Pakistani women filmmakers,” said Shirin Taber, Director of Empower Women Media. “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!”