AWARDS
Meet the amazing women fighting censorship
08 Mar 2018
BY SYDNEY KALICH

From a journalist issued death threats for her investigative work and a activist who helps women and girls learn computer programming to foster female economic independence, to an organisation that provides support for female victims of online harassment, the 2018 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards shortlist includes women who work with bravery and persistence in the face of adversity.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and honour the amazing women on our awards shortlist.

The Museum of Dissidence was co-founded by curator Yanelys Nuñez Leyv in Cuba. Nuñez Leyva was previously a staff writer at a magazine published by the ministry of culture until she was fired for her involvement with the museum. Despite this, she has continued her involvement with the museum organising radical public art projects and installations. The museum also seeks to reclaim a positive notion of the word “dissident” in Cuba.

The women-run campaign Open Stadiums asserts a woman’s rights to attend public sporting events in Iran. The campaign challenges the country’s current religious and political regime while engaging women in human rights conversations previously deemed unimportant. Iranian women face many restrictions in public spaces and Open Stadiums has generated conversations on their right to attend public events which is currently a taboo in the country.

Digital Rights Foundation is a cyber-harassment hotline based in Pakistan that helped over one thousand women in its first year. DRF provides a harassment helpline team which includes a digital security expert, a trained lawyer and a qualified psychologist, all of which can provide specialised assistance to women.

Digital Activism nominee Fereshteh Forough is the founder of Code to Inspire, a project that helps women and girls learn to code. The programme fosters female economic independence and broaden commercial opportunities for women in a patricahal society.  

Journalist Wendy Funes risks her life for the right to report in Honduras. Journalists in the country face a harsh and repressive environment, but Funes continues to report on corruption, injustice and violence against women in a country where one woman on average is killed every 16 hours.  

Habari RDC: “We must do everything possible so that Congolese society becomes more democratic”

In December 2018, when Index last spoke to Habari RDC, the DRC was gearing up for an election that would name a successor to president Joseph Kabila, who had been in power since 2001

ECRF: We believe in human rights for all Egyptians and we are willing to pay the price

The Egyptian government has waged an organised campaign against independent civil society groups and has become increasingly hostile to dissent. ECRF is one of the few human rights organisations still operating in the country.

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