Nadia Sharmeen facts for kids

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Nadia Sharmeen, Reception for IWOC Awardee 2015
Nadia Sharmeen at International Women of Courage Awards, Mar 2015.

Nadia Sharmeen (Bengali: নাদিয়া শারমীন) is a crime reporter from Bangladesh, who writes news stories about crime.

In 2015, Sharmeen won the US State Department's International Women of Courage Award. In 2014, the global campaign One Billion Rising for Justice used her story to persuade the Bangladeshi government to accept the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

From the time she was in Middle School, Nadia Sharmeen wanted to become a journalist. In 2009, she joined the Bangladesh group of news reporters and became a crime reporter.

In 2013 Sharmeen went to a fundamentalist Islamic rally to report about it for Ekushey Television. At the rally, Hefazat-e-Islam activists attacked Sharmeen. The reason for the rally was to demand laws to limit or control the mixing of men and women in the same space, punish atheists, require women to wear headscarves, and other religion-based rules. The Hefazat had a list with 13 demands. They wanted the government to stop supporting the current Women's Policy, which was planned to create gender equality. Journalists were attacked and tortured in many places in Dhaka and Chittagong. Women garbage collectors were also attacked. Sharmeen's attackers targeted women who did not wear the hijab, or religious head scarf. Nadia said they attacked her, “only because I am a woman”. Fifty or sixty men attacked Sharmeen. They chased Sharmeen and hit her with water bottles and pieces of brick. When Sharmeen fell, other men punched and beat her. Several male reporters and cameramen tried to save Sharmeen. Then they became targets of the mob.

Nadia Sharmeen receiving International Women of Courage Awards, Mar 2015
Nadia Sharmeen receiving International Women of Courage Awards, Mar 2015.

They took Sharmeen to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital for emergency care. When she was better, they moved her to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital. Within days, a report was filed with the police. By July, 2013, there were still no arrests, so the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh organization asked the Supreme Court of Bangladesh to help Sharmeen. The court called for arrest of the men who attacked Sharmeen, and said the government was responsible to pay for her medical care. Nearly two years after the attack, no one was identified, and no one was arrested. After Sharmeen got better, she went back to work as a crime reporter for a different news agency, Ekattor TV]. After the attack on Sharmeen, women's rights activists staged several rallies, with the support of various press clubs, the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) and other organizations.


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