US ambassador lauds journalist as 'Tanzanian Woman of Courage'

Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- A Tanzanian journalist, Ananilea Nkya, was Tues day presented by US Ambassador Alfonso E.
Lenhardt the 2010 Tanzanian Woman of C o urage award for her efforts to promote equality, opportunity, and justice for Ta n zanian women and girls.
Nkya, who previously worked with Radio Tanzania, has been Executive Director of the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) since 2001.
In addition to the award, the Ambassador granted one million Tanzanian shillings (US$1,000) to TAMWA in support of its scholarship programme for women seeking u n iversity journalism degrees.
According to a statement from the embassy, Nkya has been a leading advocate for women's advancement through awareness-raising and judicial reform for over 20 ye a rs.
The organization has given Tanzanian women a voice and transformed Tanzania's me dia environment, ensuring wide coverage of women's issues.
By providing trainings and financial support for degrees in journalism, TAMWA ha s helped to ensure Tanzania's professional media corps has many qualified female journalists.
Presenting the award, Lenhardt told Nkya: "Through the 2010 Tanzanian Woman of C ourage Award, you are recognised for your efforts to use mass media for awarenes s raising, speaking out forcefully against gender-based violence, and helping rep e al laws which limit women's rights.
''Your efforts to train women as journalists and empower women to advocate for t hemselves have brought great dividends to the entire Tanzanian society," the Amb a ssador said.
Nkya's efforts to bring women's issues to light began when she started her caree r in journalism, using her role as a radio producer to raise awareness.
She has and continues to work to repeal laws which limit the rights of women and girls, w hile also encouraging other women to advocate for themselves.
She also designed a media campaign against the Zanzibari law that makes pregnanc y out of wedlock a crime, helping secure its repeal in 2005.
Over the past six years, Nkya has lobbied the government for an amendment to the Law of Marriage Act which currently allows girls younger than 18 to marry â" an issue that can result in forced marriages of young girls against their will.
As a result, there is now movement toward an amendment of this law.

02 march 2010 12:55:00

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