This is Bibi Aisha, an 18 year old Afghan
She was married to a violently abusive
man and, not knowing what else to do,
she fled back to her family.
This photo provided by World Press Photo
shows what happened next.
The young woman is from Afganistan's
Oruzgan province. Sheltering in the
apparent safety of her parent's home, one
dark night, the Taliban burst in and
insisted that Bibi be handed over to them
to face "justice."
A Taliban commander ordered grotesque
punishment. Her brother-in-law held her
down as her husband first cut off her ears
and then sliced off her nose.
Abandoned and left to die, she was
fortunate enough to be rescued by both
members of the U.S. military and
humanitarian aid workers. She was
rushed to a women's shelter in Kabul,
Afganistan. Ultimately, she was
transported to the U.S. for post-violence
counseling and, thankfully, for
Time magazine went out on a limb in
publishing this photo, which offered the
world a view of this incredibly victimized
young woman. The picture resulted in
South Africa's Jodi Bieber being awarded
the World Press Photo of the Year for
2010. The Time cover was made
possible by both The World Press and the
Institute for Artist Management.
Teen-aged Afghan wife is
not alone in being
mutilated by men who
claim power over women.
"This could become one of those pictures -
and we have maybe just ten in our lifetime
- where if somebody says 'you know, that
picture of a girl...', you know exactly which
one they're talking about," World Press
Photo jury chair David Burnett said.
"It's an incredibly strong image," juror Ruth
Eichhorn added. "It sends out an
enormously powerful message to the
world, about the 50 per cent of the
population that are women, so many of
whom still live in miserable conditions,
suffering violence. It is strong because the
woman looks so dignified, iconic."
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