Dankesrede Farida Nekzad
Honored audience, dear Daniela Schadt, dear Professor Hubert Burda,
Firstly I would like to thank VDZ for presenting me this special award. As an Afghani woman I feel deeply honored. It is something very special, that my work and I get such attention from an organization of such importance. Your appreciation gives power and motivation to carry on with my work. And I thank so much the "Hamburger Stiftung für politisch Verfolgte" which made it possible to step out for nearly one year out of the terrible as dangerous situation in Afghanistan to regain strength.
Since the end of the Taliban regime, Afghanista's media landscape has grown fast: Due to financial and moral support from the international community, today the media is established and provides the Afghan people with a full range of information channels and sources.
Unfortunately the situation for women working in media is very difficult. Sexual harassment and unfair conditions in media organizations still prevent women from working in the media. Death threats for female journalists are no exception.
But female journalists have an outstanding importance for the female society: they promote not just news and information, they promote women’s rights by raising women’s issues and criticism.
Since the pull-out of the ISAF, the situation in Afghanistan has become alarming. The general security situation is very bad and the press freedom is in danger too. Since the beginning of 2014, twelve journalists, including 2 women, were killed. Nobody puts the delinquents to trial. Justice cannot prevail. There have been over 60 cases of violence against journalists recorded from the beginning of this year; the number of female journalists has reduced by almost 50%.
The more difficult the times are going to be, the more important it is to fight for the press freedom. Should the Taliban expect me to remain silent, I will shout even louder- for our rights, for our freedom, and for peace. We only get a safe life if we have freedom.
Today I am standing in a historically special city. Years ago, Berlin was the center of the cold war. There were times, when nobody thought about warm peace in Berlin. But it became true. That raises my hope, that an educated society can make the impossible possible; that societies can change. However, in order for this to occur, it needs an educated civil society.
Information is key to achieving this. Therefore I have to continue my work to reach this goal of such an educated society. Encouraging people to stand up for their rights in a peaceful and democratic manner. Germany and Berlin are ideals; this Golden Victoria will be another motivating force - my incentive. Thank you.
Die Preisverleihung fand am 2. November 2015 in der Hauptstadtrepräsentanz der Telekom statt. Es gilt das gesprochene Wort.