In a special ceremony this past Thursday, The International Women’s Media Foundation awarded the 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Courage In Photojournalism Award to Stephanie Sinclair, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the recipient of The Alexia 2008 professional grant.
The Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award celebrates women photographers whose work demonstrates bravery, dedication and skill. The award pays tribute to the strength and dedication of Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was tragically killed while reporting in Afghanistan in 2014. Niedringhaus received the IWMF’s Courage in Journalism Award in 2005.
Stephanie Sinclair is known for working on the most sensitive gender and human rights issues around the world. She documents, sensitively and compellingly, topics such as child marriage, female genital mutilation and acid attacks. For 15 years, the photographer has been working to reveal the truth of child marriage with her project Too Young to Wed. Her work compelled her to start the non-profit, Too Young to Wed which strives to amplify the voices of her subjects and build a global community dedicated to ending child, early and force marriage and supporting positive change for these girls.
“Courage is not only defined by facing risk on the front lines of war but also displaying emotional and intellectual courage required to continue to bear witness to scenes of despair with eloquence and compassion,” wrote the panel of judges about why they felt this prize should be awarded to Sinclair. She had received their unanimous support.
In one of a number of articles about the prize, Sinclair spoke with the Associated Press about why this work is so important.
“In my experience, girls in developing countries, the world’s poorest areas, really have the least amount of rights and protection. They’re the most vulnerable in the world,” Sinclair told the Associated Press. “It’s our responsibility to take care of those who don’t have the same amount of support. We don’t get to control where we’re born. If they succeed, we all succeed.”
National Geographic also celebrated this huge recognition for Sinclair, with an article entitled, “Extraordinary Photographs by Women on Forefront of Conflict.” Sinclair is a frequent contributor to the magazine.
“Stephanie is not by any stretch of the imagination an objective photographer,” said Sarah Leen, director of photography for National Geographic. “She is a passionate person when she sees injustice, she gets angry and then she gets busy creating change.”
Sinclair received her Alexia grant for The Bride Price which looked at child marriage in India. We are thrilled to see her tireless work on this subject get the important recognition it deserves and proud to have been able to support its development.