Pakistani- Canadian activist and journalist Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy received an honorary degree from the USA’s prestigious Smith College in recognition of her efforts in documentary journalism on human rights.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has twice won the Academy award, in 2012 and in 2016. She has twice bagged the Emmy Award, in 2010 and in 2013.
She is known for producing films on the subjects of women subjugation that are otherwise overlooked or get inadequate attention from mainstream media and society.
Obaid’s documentary films ‘Saving Faces’ and ‘The Girl in the River- A Price of Forgiveness’ discusses the issue of acid attacks on females and honor killings in Pakistan.
In 2013 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to make structural amendments essential to curb the menace of honor killings. Pakistan is currently the third worst countries in terms of women’s rights. It currently at 150th position out of 153 countries in the study carried out by The Women, Peace and Security Index, on women’s peace, justice, inclusion, and security.
Obaid has garnered appreciation globally for actively working for women’s right but she is often criticized in Pakistan for the negative portrayal of the country in her films. People believe she can utilize her outreach and fame to wash off the bad image that Pakistan suffers at the international arena. While others believe her documentaries bring a spotlight to the untold stories of brilliant and resilient people in Pakistan.
Obaid has garnered appreciation globally for actively working for women’s right but she is often disliked inside Pakistan for the negative portrayal of the country in her films.
Sharmeen, however, counters the critics with her argument to rectify the worst aspects of the society through her documentaries. She once said, ‘There’s a lot that needs to be fixed in Pakistan, however, I live in Pakistan and I must talk about these issues.” Hence she is interested in issues that affect people. Achieving a robust legislature to combat the honor killings is part of her struggle.