Al Jazeera Media Network has been awarded the UN Women for Peace Association “Awareness Award” for its focus on critical women’s issues in the media network’s programmes and news output, including the role its documentaries have had in promoting understanding and awareness of the plight of women and girls around the world.
The award was given by the UNWFPA on International Women’s day, to coincide with a panel discussion at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss the role of media in empowering women worldwide. The panel consisted of leading figures including Joan Lunden, award-winning journalist and author, Sherwin Bryce-Pease, President of the UN Correspondents Association, Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer of Hearst Magazines, Edie Falco, actress, Cicely Tyson, actress, and Cyma Zarghami, President of Viacom Inc.’s Nickelodeon Group.
Barbara Winston, President of UNWFPA, said, “In our inaugural year of the UNWFPA Awareness Award, it is my distinct pleasure to give the award to Al Jazeera for their extensive work on women’s and girls’ issues across the planet. The programming on Al Jazeera on women’s and girls’ issues is exemplary and we’re happy for the work that Al Jazeera has done and continues to do. Often going into dangerous war zones to get their stories, Al Jazeera journalists, many of whom are women themselves, risk their lives to bring to the world the stories that matter.”
Abdulla Al Najjar, Al Jazeera’s Executive Director of Global Brand and Communications, stated that Al Jazeera’s commitment to covering women’s issues is part of the core mission of the Network. “Throughout its history, Al Jazeera has been committed to covering issues that affect women from all backgrounds, faiths and regions of the world. Women are so often victims of violence, abuse and persecution, and media needs to be courageous in covering their stories. We are very grateful to the UNWFPA for this honor, and are committed to continuing telling women’s stories from around the globe.”
Accepting the award for the network were Al Jazeera’s Washington correspondent Patty Culhane, and Malika Bilal, co-host and digital producer of Al Jazeera’s ‘The Stream.’
The United Nations has a series of events to mark International Women’s day, focused on accelerating the 2030 targets to ensure equal access to education for boys and girls around the world, to end discrimination against women and to eliminate all forms of violence and harmful practices against girls and women worldwide.
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has called gender equality and the empowerment of women “the greatest human rights challenge in our world.”