Stephanie Sinclair has been named as the winner of the 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, which celebrates women photographers whose work demonstrates bravery, dedication and skill, while reporting the news through images. The
International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) created the award to honour the courage and dedication of AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed while reporting in Afghanistan in 2014.
Sinclair is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for gaining unique access to the most sensitive gender and human rights issues around the world. Through her work, Sinclair portrays –in a compelling, dignified and empathetic way – the lives of vulnerable girls subjected to practices such as child marriage, genital mutilation and acid attacks. Her ongoing 15-year series, "Too Young to Wed," delves into how
child marriage has altered the fate of tens of thousands of young girls, and she has founded a nonprofit in the same name. Ritu Saini (foreground), 21, and Rupa, 23, enjoy the monsoon rains atop a roof in Agra, India, in 2016. Both women are survivors of acid attacks. Hundreds of women and girls a year have been injured by acid in India. Formerly a volleyball player, Ritu was attacked by her cousin. After several reconstructive surgeries, she lost her left eye. Rupa was attacked when she was 15. The group Stop Acid Attacks advocates for policies to help acid-attack survivors. Stephanie Sinclair "Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him," Tahini (in pink) recalls of the early days of her marriage to Mated, when she was 6 and he was 25. The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghana, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajji, Yemen, in 2010. There is currently no minimum legal of marriage in Yemen. Stephanie Sinclair A girl undergoes female genital mutilation (FGM) during a mass ceremony at a school building in Bandung, Indonesia, in 2016. According to UNICEF, at least 200 million girls and women in some 30 countries today – including about half of Indonesian girls under 12 years old – have undergone FGM. The procedure continues to be performed – under varying hygienic conditions. Stephanie Sinclair Young and adolescent girls take part in an alternative rites of passage ceremony, which does not include genital mutilation, in Mishanga, Sierra Leone, in 2016. Girls who participate in the programme receive a free education guaranteed by Mishanga Assistance Education, a Swiss nonprofit. Stephanie Sinclair Zindiba, 19, attends school in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 2016. Her arm was hacked off while, as a small child, she tried to protect her mother from combatants during Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war. Her lifelong injuries will prevent her from many types of employment, she now hopes for support in continuing her education. Stephanie Sinclair Portrait of sisters Yagana, 21, Yakaka 19, and Falimata, 14, in Maiduguri, Nigeria, in 2016. The girls were abducted and held captive for years by Boko Haram militants until each found moments to escape. The terrorist group drew global outrage after abducting more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, forcing many into marriage and motherhood. In armed conflicts, child marriage is increasingly used as a weapon of war, forcing girls to give birth give birth to the next germination of fighters. Thousands of girls remain missing in Nigeria with little help of rescue. Those who manage to escape struggle with little support to rebuild their lives. Stephanie Sinclair
Nicole Tung received an honourable mention for work that shows the devastating effects war has on civilians and the emotional trauma of conflict in places such as Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt. The jury noted: "Like Anja, Nicole provides balance and a moment of hope, giving viewers a breath away from the intensity of war...Her dedication and compassion will continue to shed light on the dark corners of our world, where people are mired in isolation and desperation."
A mother cries while she cradles her son Laith, whom she had not seen for two years as they were finally reunited in the car park outside the Hassan Sham camp for internally displaced persons near Mosul, Iraq, on 7 November 2016. Laith was trapped in Mosul when it fell to Isis in 2014. Laith’s mother, who could not go back to their home in Mosul, was forced to stay out of Isis territory, longing for the day she could see her son again. Nicole Tung A boy walks along a street near his home in Qayyarah, Iraq, on Thursday, 10 November 2016, as an oil well burns nearby. Many streets and neighbourhoods in Qayyarah look apocalyptic, with oil residue covering all surfaces, turning small streets into muddy oil slicks, yet children can still be seen everywhere playing outside. Dozens of oil wells were set on fire as Isis fighters retreated from the Iraqi Army in August, before the start of the Mosul offensive. The oil from Qayyarah provided a huge source of income for Isis to help finance its activities. Many civilians stayed in their homes during the fight to retake the town and remain there today despite the months of smoke clouds hanging over the town. Nicole Tung A soldier with the Yazidi 'Sun Ladies' brushes her hair during morning preparations at their base near Sinjar, in Kurdistan, Iraq, on Tuesday, 30 August 2016. The 'Sun Ladies', made up of several hundred Yazidi women, some of whom were formerly enslaved by Isis, are attempting to fight back against the extremist group with the help of the Kurdish Peshmerga through training, funds, and arms. Nicole Tung Life after Isis: Men bathe in thermal baths in Hammam al Alil two days after Iraqi forces liberated the town from ISIS as they retreat further into Mosul, on Wednesday, 9 November 2016. As the offensive to retake Mosul continues, over 40,000 civilians have been internally displaced, straining already overloaded camps in the region. Hammam al Alil, under Isis control for over two years, has seen the return of a trickle of civilians to their homes despite improvised explosive devices left behind and sporadic fighting between Isis recruits and Iraqi forces. Nicole Tung Men carry the body of Hatem Qureya, 15, after he was trapped under rubble following an air strike in the neighbourhood of Bustan al Qasr in Aleppo, Syria, on Monday, 6 August 2012 which claimed at least eight lives including five children from the same family. Hatem later died en route to the field hospital. At least two people, including a child, were trapped under rubble, complicating rescue attempts. Nicole Tung A young man grieves over the death of his father in the Dar Shifaa hospital in Sha'ar, Aleppo, Syria, on Sunday, 26 August 2012, after he was shot and killed in crossfire. Civilians are the subject of random, sometimes deliberate, attacks by the Syrian Army in Aleppo, often killed and injured by sniper fire, shelling, or air strikes. Nicole Tung
Louisa Gouliamaki, a Polish-Greek photographer based in Greece, received an honourable mention for displaying masterful visual storytelling on both the European refugee crisis and the revolution in the Ukraine. The jury noted: "Her work comprises immediacy and intensity during violent confrontations, and also moments of humanity and warmth."
Protesters clash with police after gaining new positions near the Independence square in Kiev on 20 February 2014. Hundreds of armed protesters charged police barricades on Kiev's central Independence Square, despite a truce called just hours earlier by the country's embattled president. Protesters pushed the police back and were in control of most of the square they had occupied at the start of Ukraine's three-month-old political crisis. Louisa Gouliamaki Protesters evacuate a wounded colleague in Kiev, on 20 February 2014. Hundreds of armed protesters charged police barricades on Kiev's central Independence Square, despite a truce called just hours earlier by the country's embattled president. Top officials were evacuated from Ukraine's main government building close to clashes in the heart of Kiev that left many protesters dead with apparent gun shot wounds. Louisa Gouliamaki A protester's boots are left at a makeshift memorial at Independence square in Kiev on 28 February 2014. Ukraine suffered one of its bloodiest days on 20 February, with a gun battle in central Kiev. Three hours of fierce fighting in Independence Square, which was recaptured by anti-government protesters, left the bodies of dozens of civilians strewn on the ground. The mourning and funerals continued for weeks. Louisa Gouliamaki Refugees walk at the port of Piraeus after arriving from the islands of Lesbos and Chios on 1 February 2016. More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx, and creating division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people. The arrivals have continued in early 2016. Hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war and poverty from mostly Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan took a dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to Greek islands and traveled towards the Greek border town of Idomeni onwards to FYR Macedonia, taking the Balkan route now sealed shut to northern Europe. Louisa Gouliamaki A child coughs as migrants and refugees run away after Macedonian police fired tear gas at hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian migrants who tried to break through the Greek border fence in Idomeni, on 29 February 2016. Louisa Gouliamaki A man evacuates a boy, while other migrants and refugees lay on the ground after Macedonian police fired tear gas at hundreds of migrants who tried to break through the Greek border fence in Idomeni, on 29 February 2016. A temporary border closure and more restrictions at the end of February resulted in clashes between the disgruntled asylum seekers and Macedonian police, who fired tear gas to disperse the angry mob that stormed the border, including women and children, ramming down a metal gate. Macedonian police deployed additional troops to prevent further clashes, with two rows of barbed-wire fencing to hold the migrants back set up earlier in the week. Louisa Gouliamaki
All three women will be recognised at an awards event in Washington, DC, on 8 June. The 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award is presented in collaboration with Amsterdam-based
World Press Photo Foundation, to support female photojournalists around the globe.
IBTimes UK gallery features the work of some of the female photojournalists who have been named as runners-up in the 2017 awards. Mosul, Iraq, 8 November 2016: An unidentified man, blindfolded and handcuffed, kneels on the ground between two members of the Iraqi security forces after being accused of having links to Isis. He was beaten and taken into custody after asking questions the Iraqi forces, who had taken control of this neighbourhood that day after over two years of Islamic State control, found suspicious. Alice Martins Mosul, Iraq, 8 November 2016: As smoke from two large explosions billows in the distance, a small group of civilians walks carrying a white flag and few belongings to escape heavy fighting between Isis militants and Iraqi security forces. Civilians carry makeshift white flags to differentiate themselves from fleeing militants, but attacks carried out by suicide bombers infiltrated among civilians targeting Iraqi forces are common. Alice Martins Aleppo, Syria, 14 October 2012: A Syrian opposition fighter affiliated to the Free Syrian Army stands in the only available exit of the Umayyad Mosque in the Old City of Aleppo as dust filled the pathway during intense shelling by government forces. Alice Martins Qayyarah, Iraq, 20 October 2016: The body of three-year-old Sadan Suhaib lies covered by a blood-stained blanket at a small clinic. She was killed while fleeing Islamic State captivity alongside her family when an improvised explosive device planted by Isis militants was accidentally detonated by her grandmother, who was also killed in the explosion. Alice Martins A woman lies dead after being hit by shrapnel from a rocket that landed nearby and hit her while she was walking home, in the town of Kramatorsk, under the control of the Ukrainian army. Her family, in the corner, mourns her death, while waiting for the morgue services. The town lies on the frontline between the Ukrainian held territories and the Russia-backed separatists areas. Photo taken on 10 February 2015. Francesca Volpi Bodies of two dead Ukrainian soldier inside the Donetsk airport, now under control of the Russia-backed separatist armed forces. Photo taken on 26 February 2015. Francesca Volpi Two men carry a wounded man after violent clashes with the police during the Euromaidan revolution in Kiev, Ukraine. The three months protests culminated on 20 February after snipers shot dead more than hundred people, from a hill on top of the square. The revolution eventually led to the ongoing war in the east. Photo taken on 18 February 2014. Francesca Volpi Underage boys rest inside the Juvenile Prison of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC’s population is one of the youngest in the world: the median age is 18 years. The vast majority of underage inmates in the DRC’s overcrowded prisons are pre-trial detainees. Since very little government funding is allocated for food and other basic needs, starvation is common. The prison has an average occupation rate of 150 percent of capacity. Photo taken on 15 July 2016. Francesca Volpi A female Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighter stands near a security position in Sinjar, Iraq, on 13 March 2015. Women fighters at a PKK base on Mount Sinjar in northwest Iraq, battle with their male fellow fighters against Isis. Many of the women have cut links with their families back home; the fighters come from all corners of the Kurdish region. Asmaa Waguih A man and his daughter who were injured by shrapnel from artillery shells fired by Houthis militias during fighting with pro-government forces, are treated at a hospital in Taiz, Yemen, on 7 June 2016. Many civilians are injured when shells fall randomly on their houses. Asmaa Waguih Free Syrian Army members execute a man they suspect to be from the pro-government forces during a combing operation in Harem town, Idlib Governorate, Syria, on 26 October 2012 Asmaa Waguih Anti-Gaddafi fighters fire 130mm howitzers at pro-Gaddafi forces east of Sirte, on 23 September 2011 Asmaa Waguih Barquismeto, Venezuela, 25 August 2016: Schizophrenic patient Omar Mendoza sits on his bed at the state-run psychiatric hospital, El Pampero. Badly malnourished, Mr Mendoza only weighs 35 kilos, joining over half of the male patients there who are underweight. The economic crisis that has left Venezuela with little hard currency has also severely affected its public health system, crippling hospitals like El Pampero. The hospital has almost no drugs to control the afflictions tormenting its patients, the majority of whom have been abandoned by their families and rely completely on the state to meet their basic needs. It has running water for only a few hours a day, and suffers from shortages of food and basic personal-care and cleaning supplies. Members of the hospital staff often spend their free time soliciting donations of food from local shops and restaurants in able to feed patients. El Pampero has long been a forgotten place, filled with forgotten people. Meridith Kohut Cumana, Venezuela, 16 June 2016: Leidy Cordova, a 37-year-old mother, poses for a portrait with four of her five children – Abran, 1, Deliannys, 3, Eliannys, 6, and Milianny, 8 – next to their broken and bare refrigerator. The family had gone the entire day without eating. They had not eaten since lunchtime the day before – a meal that was just a soup made by boiling chicken skin and fat in water. Inside their home, a cinderblock structure on the edge of the highway, a broken refrigerator was empty except for half a bag of corn flour and a bottle of vinegar. That was the only food they had in their entire house, and Ms Cordova was worried about if she would be able to find a way to feed her children the next day. "My kids tell me they're hungry," she said. "And all I can say to them is to grin and bear it.” Surging numbers of families report only being able to eat one meal a day in Venezuela. It is the latest chapter of an economic collapse which has left the country neither able to produce its food nor import it from abroad, leaving a nation searching for how to feed itself. Meridith Kohut Las Claritas, Venezuela, 20 July 2016: Carlos Raphael, right, and his crew illegally mine for gold at the Cuatro Muertos (Four Dead Men) mine. The mine is named after four men who have died there since it was dug. As the world’s highest inflation has steadily decreased the value of the national currency, thousands of Venezuelans are flocking to illegal gold mines, like this one, in hopes of surviving the current economic crisis. From this remote part of the jungle the migrant miners have become the vectors of a new epidemic of malaria, as the hot, swampy conditions of the mines make for an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos. Mr. Raphael says he has contracted malaria ten times, and says everyone in his crew has also had it multiple times. Miners then spread the disease as they return home with earnings or pay visits to family members. The economic crisis has also left the government without the financial resources to control the disease; they are unable to fumigate homes, provide medication to the ill or even test all the patients with symptoms of malaria. Meridith Kohut Tenosique, Mexico, 2 July 2014: Undocumented migrants pass a young boy between two train cars after they ran and climbed aboard "The Beast" as it passed through Tenosique. A wave of gang violence in Honduras and El Salvador is causing surging numbers of child migrants to arrive in the United States. Migrants in shelters across southern Mexico report gangs demanding parents pay them a monthly "War Tax”, under threat of killing their children if they do not pay – causing many families to flee north. Public morgue staff in San Pedro Sula, Honduras confirmed regularly receiving corpses of children under ten years old that had been shot point-blank. They described a two-year old shot multiple times in the skull, and a four-year old girl that had her arms and legs chopped of with a machette. Meridith Kohut In 2009, de Viguerie went to the Niger Delta twice to cover the fight for oil revenues between Mend (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) and the government-supporting oil companies. She says: "The first time, we were not able to meet with Ateke Tom and his men because their camps were attacked every night by the Nigerian Army. A few months later, we went back and were able to spend time with them in one of their camps hidden in the mangroves of the Delta State. Mend were supposed to be some kind of "Robin Hood", attacking oil facilities, kidnapping oil workers to redistribute the money to the people of Niger Delta. The people are suffering from pollution, an environmental disaster, due to oil exploitation but they are getting nothing out of it. They cannot fish, or grow anything anymore. It was shocking to realise how the Western oil companies were abusing this part of the world, with oil spills poisoning the waters, the soil, having oil pipes going through villages which can burst anytime, burning villages and not giving any compensation of any sort." Veronique de Viguerie de Viguerie says: "In 2009, the spotlight was on the Somali pirates. A lot was said about them, most of them fantasies because nobody had actually meet with one of them. A magazine I work with sometimes asked me if I knew somebody in Somalia who could provide them with pictures of pirates who then had just captured another ship. I told them I would. I've always been interested in knowing the "other side" of the story. With our fixer Bashir we worked a way to meet with them without being kidnapped. Thanks to our wonderful fixer we were able to meet with Abdul Hossein – "the one who never sleeps" – a pirate chief who explained to us how it happens. He told us that they were a group of fishermen who were watching massive ships taking all their fish in their waters. Because there was no government and no coast guards to protect their waters from foreign ships, they decided to form their own "coast guards" and started asking fees to the ships they caught into their water fishing illegally. At the beginning, they started to survive, to feed their families. Then the fees got higher and higher and it became a real piracy business. They were not living in palaces, they were not driving fancy cars as it had been said by many "specialists". Finally we were able to come back with some reality about pirates.We only had a very short time for interview. Our escort and some of the pirates got in an argument and started shooting so we had to leave very quickly. At the beginning we were supposed to go with them on the Faina, a ship they were holding hostage. But Bashir heard in local language some of them were planning on kidnapping us and told us to go back." Veronique de Viguerie "In 2008, I went back to Afghanistan and as I was trying to find collateral victims of an air strike in Tagab district. I saw this mother holding her baby girl covered in blood on the road. We stopped the car to help. The mother told our translator that the girl was hit by a pick-up from a convoy of the US and Afghan army. We took both of them to the nearest US base for them to be treated and medevacuated." Veronique de Viguerie "In April 2016 I went to Kot district. The region was invaded by Daesh after they got rid off Taliban. Civilians decided to fight back, forming militias, called Arbakai. These three widows lost their husbands, all brothers and part of the Arbakai, fighting with Daesh. Altogether, they have 31 children to feed with $210 (£164) a month. Veronique de Viguerie Cherso, Greece, 15 May 2016: Muslim refugee children from Syria taunt a group of Yazidi children from Iraq, calling them "kafir" which means "infidel". The Yazidis fled after their villages and towns were overtaken by Isis in August 2014, resulting in the deaths of approximately 5,000 and the enslavement of thousands of Yazidi women and girls. Jodi Hilton Idomeni, Greece, 18 May 2016: During a protest, immigrants push an abandoned train wagon towards the border and Greek riot police. Police retaliated with tear gas and stun grenades, creating panic and distress among thousands of refugees including women and children. Jodi Hilton Athens, Greece, 18 April 2016: During the eviction of an informal camp at Piraeus Port, a Syrian boy entertains his younger brother by blowing bubbles as they wait for hours under a sweltering sun for buses to take them to government camps. Jodi Hilton Idomeni, Greece, 29 February 2016: An Iraqi mother with her daughters cries as a frantic crowd on the Greek side of the Greek-Macedonian border tried to break through a newly constructed border fence, after Macedonian officials closed the border, trapping tens of thousands of asylum seekers in Greece. Jodi Hilton 6 June 2016: Cuban migrants Liset and Marta prepare to board a boat at dawn to go from Necocli to Capuragna in Colombia, getting closer to the Panamanian border. This was one of their biggest fears of the trip, open water in a small boat. Liset and Marta both said prayers before boarding. The ride lasted two hours and they emerged unscathed but drenched and shaken Lisette Poole 8 June 2016: Cuban migrants rest at a campsite in Colombia where Liset and Marta were also held, waiting to enter the Darien Gap. Tensions arose with 'coyotes' and friends over money as the group was held for several days. They were anxious to continue their trip and try desperately to fight though boredom, fear and the lack of communication with loved ones. They felt powerless over their circumstances. Lisette Poole 12 June 2016 - Marta and Liset rest in the river after a treacherous crossing in the Darien Gap. The river had risen the day before due to a thunderstorm. Marta cannot swim so each of the several crossings they made that day was particularly intense for her Lisette Poole 15 June 2016 - In Panama after emerging from the Darien, Marta rests in the home of local indigenous people who have taken her in. They feed and clothe her and treat her injuries. She is limping severely after days of walking left her with a sprained ankle and knee problems. Lisette Poole An injured Iraqi child is treated by medics from 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment at Patrol Base Murray, near Baghdad, after a mortar strike injured two girls in the town of Arab Jabour, south of Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday, 11 December 2007. The girls were evacuated by helicopter to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo A US Army soldier assists an Iraqi Army soldier escorting two men detained in a raid by Iraqi troops in Mosul, Iraq, on 22 March 2008. Five years after the US-led invasion and following a significant drop in violence countrywide over the past year, the battle for Iraq's third largest city still waxes and wanes. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo US Army soldiers from Demon Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division react after coming under fire, leaving one soldier wounded, right, in western Mosul, 360 kilometres (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, 8 November 2007. The battalion was conducting an operation to catch would-be roadside bombers when they came under fire while investigating a blast site. The soldier was not seriously wounded. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo A bride passes through a metal detector as she arrives at the five-star Babylon Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, on Saturday, 12 March 2016. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo 5 December 2016: Veterans carry an American and a Mohawk Warrior Society flag through the storm in the DAPL resistance camps. The Mohawk flag came to prominence during the 1990 Canadian Oka Crisis, when the military confronted indigenous people in a major armed conflict for the first time in modern history. Camp is dedicated to stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) "in a good way" but there is some fear history will repeat itself, again. Amber Bracken 15 November 2016: Riot police clear marchers from a secondary road outside a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) worker camp using rubber bullets, pepper spray, tasers and arrests. In other incidents they've employed militarised vehicles, water cannons, tear gas and have been accused of using percussion grenades. Amber Bracken 11 November 2016: "I don't want to be killed here. I came here to live with my children and my children's children," says Vonda Long, at the DAPL resistance camps. She is a descendent of High Hawk, who was killed in the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, and says she carries trauma from colonisation. However, she's been fighting for justice her whole life as a member of the American Indian Movement. "That's what you do. You sacrifice for your brother." Amber Bracken 8 August 2016: Aimee doesn't cut any more, but the legacy or her struggle in foster homes and with the loss of family has left a history on her body. Because she laughs and jokes a lot, many of her friends don't realise how much she still struggles. Amber Bracken
Since 1990, the
International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) has worked to unleash the potential of women journalists as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media. They seek to ensure that women journalists worldwide are fully supported, protected, recognised and rewarded for their vital contributions at all levels of the news media. As a result, consumers will increase their demand for news with a diversity of voices, stories and perspectives as a cornerstone of democracy and free expression. Through their programs and grants, theu empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry.
AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014) dedicated her life to documenting conflict and its impact on the people of war-torn regions. A native of Germany, she began full-time work as a photojournalist in 1990 when she joined the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA). One of her first assignments was covering the war in the Balkans where journalists were regularly targeted by Bosnian Serb forces. In 2002, Niedringhaus began working for the AP as a travelling photographer. She primarily covered the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. For her compassion and commitment to capture the whole picture, the IWMF recognised her with the 2005 Courage in Journalism Award. Niedringhaus died while reporting from Afghanistan on 4 April 2014.