In America, we tend to take our freedoms for granted. But the majority of those inhabiting planet Earth are still fighting for those freedoms, some with their lives, much the same as those who fought for freedom in America. The International Women’s Media Foundation’s (IWMF) Courage in Journalism Awards recently honored four extraordinary women who are engaged in that fight. At Naturepedic, that kind of integrity means a lot to us. We started this company to provide parents with organic and non-toxic waterproof mattresses, and we still hold ourselves to the same standards as we did originally. Our appreciation for those who focus on making the world a better place and who stand behind what they believe in led us to sponsor The Wrap’s Power Women Breakfast, which featured these four amazing Courage in Journalism Award winners, who shared their inspiring stories. We thought you might enjoy hearing a little about them.
- Najiba Ayubi | 2013 Courage in Journalism Award – The Killid Group, Afghanistan. Threatened by the secret service and other sectors of her own government, defamed, hunted by gunmen who appear at her door, charged with false reporting, Afghan journalist Najiba Ayubi has had countless sleepless nights in fear of the consequences when she publishes something controversial. Despite the dangers, Ms Aybui remains dedicated to communicating the truth about her country. “Throughout her career,” said the IWMF, “Ayubi has stood for journalism ethics and press freedom. She has dedicated herself to reporting on politics, human rights and corruption while challenging authorities and defending the value of independent journalism. “ Read more.
- Bopha Phorn | 2013 Courage in Journalism Award – The Cambodia Daily, Cambodia. Bopha reports on criminal activity, human rights abuses, land and environmental issues and government corruption. She is continually under threat and her life is continually in danger in a country with an unstable democracy where authoritarianism, censorship and physical attacks on journalists are on the rise. But she refuses to be intimidated. ‘If I stop being a journalist, I stop breathing’. Read more.
- Nour Kelze | 2013 Courage in Journalism Award – Reuters, Syria. At 25 years old, this former school teacher now spends her days (and nights) dodging sniper fire and shells dropped by aircraft. Her many near-death experiences are nothing unusual for journalists in Syria, the ‘deadliest’ country for press. The government has no qualms about murder or torture. Many journalists have left the country, but Nour is still there, still determined. Read more.
- Edna Machirori | 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award – For 50 years Machirori has refused to comply with the norm in her country – the docile and silent woman. Instead, she has diligently reported the news and fought for a free press, while also championing the rights of other women to follow in her footsteps. She fearlessly paved the way for female journalists, many of whom credit her with their success. “Her story is one of courage, resilience and success,” said one of her colleagues. “She has shown extraordinary strength and character where many of her male counterparts have allowed themselves to become instruments of those in power.” Read more.
Congratulations to these remarkable women. We applaud you for your integrity and are honored to have contributed to letting the world hear your stories.