Nadiya Shafi, 29, was awarded the Martha Farrell Award on Wednesday in New Delhi, reported Asian Age. She bagged the award for promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the Most Promising Individual category. The award carried a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Works towards gender equality and women empowerment

The video reporter from Srinagar, works with Kashmir Unheard Project and Video Volunteers and leads gender discussion clubs which brings together various people. She is constantly working to bring issues such as domestic violence, gender inequality, urban and civic problems, in Jammu and Kashmir to focus.

Right after finishing her  Masters in Social Work, Ms Shafi started working with NGOs on issues related to gender.

The award is in recognition of Nadiya’s commitment towards work that is defying patriarchal norms. The club includes homemakers, labourers, artisans, farmers and students of Srinagar. The citizens engage in discussions about sexuality, patriarchy and gender inequality. Nadiya is also looking out to expand these clubs to Shopian and Phulwama districts of southern Kashmir. These are some of the most disturbed areas in the state.

“There has been so much news and talk about the volatile situation in J&K that people and authorities forget that the state also has issues such as gender inequality and domestic violence etc that need to be addressed like any other state in the country.”

Nadia believes that the award will only make her resolve stronger to work towards this cause with even more conviction.

“Earlier, it was difficult to engage people to talk about these issues. But now not only women, even men too participate in these sessions enthusiastically.” she told Asian Age.

Award instituted in the memory of Dr. Martha Farrell

The award is established in the memory of Dr Martha Farrell, a prominent activist for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The award is co-sponsored by Rizwan Adatia Foundation (RAF) and Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA). It is supported by Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF).

Dr Farrell was killed in Kabul in a terrorist attack in 2015, at the time when she was leading a gender training workshop for the Aga Khan Foundation.

Also Read: Delhi Activists’ Gender Equality Work Wins Them C’wealth Youth Award

Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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