The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) named Masrat Zahra as the winner of this year’s Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award on Thursday.
The award honors the memory of German photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed in 2014 in Afghanistan. The $20,000 (€17,500) prize is awarded annually by the IWMF, which since 1990 has been fighting for press freedom and supporting courageous female journalists.
“Countless communities around the world are facing enormous threat, harm and censorship due to governmental threats and the declining state of press freedom worldwide,” said IWMF Executive Director Elisa Lees Munoz. “During these times, Anja’s legacy reminds us that it’s the communities beneath the headlines who are the true targets of civil and social brutality.”
Zahra’s pictures provide a glimpse into the everyday lives of people living in Kashmir, which sees regular internet shutdowns.
Zahra said receiving the award “shows that the work of journalists like me coming from small places is being acknowledged.”
“I hope this honor will encourage me to perfect my skills and do my work more confidently. I also expect it to inspire other women photographers who are working in difficult environments,” she added.