Pakistani Journalist Maham Javaid is the IWMF’s 2020 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow

Javaid will report on marginalized communities for The Boston Globe and The New York Times

[June 17, 2020 – WASHINGTON, DC] The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) announced today the selection of Pakistani journalist Maham Javaid as its 2020 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow from a field of nearly 100 applicants across 35 countries. This unique and intensive fellowship, now in its 16th year, provides journalists with training and experience reporting on human rights and social justice issues.

Javaid’s fellowship will begin in 2021 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she will operate as a research associate with the Center for International Studies in addition to completing journalism stays at The Boston Globe and The New York Times. Javaid’s fellowship will be spent highlighting stories similar to her previous reporting on the impending HIV crisis in Pakistan in 2017 and the ‘forced’ religious conversion of young Hindu women.

“Elizabeth Neuffer’s legacy of reporting on social justice issues lives on through this extraordinary fellowship supported by the IWMF,” says Boston Globe Editorial Page Editor Bina Venkataraman. “Our editorial board and Ideas sections are grappling with unprecedented world events and seeking to provoke progress amid profound societal disruption. Journalists like Maham who bring both deep experience and a global perspective lend nuance to our coverage of human rights issues and more. We greatly look forward to her time with The Globe opinion team.”

“One of the greatest talents Elizabeth Neuffer possessed was her ability to bring the humanity of her stories to surface,” says Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the IWMF. “We look forward to the precise lens Maham will surely apply to reporting on gender and social justice issues in our world today and we congratulate her for following in Elizabeth’s footsteps.”

Before accepting the Neuffer Fellowship, Javaid worked for Human Rights Watch focusing on focusing on labor abuses of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup. As the desk editor for the Karachi-based Herald, Javaid won a national award for her reporting. She also reported on-staff for The News on Sunday in Lahore and has written for The Nation, Foreign Policy, DAWN, Al Jazeera English, The Diplomat, Naya Daur and other publications. Javaid was nominated twice for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award, and in 2019, she launched the digital media website Soch Writing. Javaid also writes fiction and was awarded the 2019 ZHR Writing Prize for Women and was shortlisted for the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She received her masters from New York University.

“I am excited, honored and humbled to be selected as the IWMF’s 2020 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow,” said Javaid. “I’m going to spend the duration of this fellowship taking forward Elizabeth’s legacy by doing brave and honest reporting, learning how editors will maintain readers’ trust as the pandemic unfolds and submerging myself in the vast academic and practical knowledge that these organizations have to offer.”

This year’s runner-up is Sandra Romandía, an award-winning journalist based in Mexico City. Romandía specializes in the investigation of drug trafficking, corruption, women’s rights and human rights violations. She is a co-author of “Narco CDMX” and “The 12 Poorest Mexicans,” and recently received the Maria Moors Cabot scholarship to the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University.

This fellowship was created in memory of Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Globe correspondent and an IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner who died in 2003 while reporting in Iraq. In collaboration with her family, friends and peers, the fellowship honors Neuffer’s legacy while advancing work in a field where she broke boundaries.

More information about the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship and other programs can be found on the IWMF website.


About the International Women’s Media Foundation

Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global non-profit organization that offers emergency support, safety training, reporting opportunities and funding avenues offered specifically for women-identifying journalists. We are making more women’s bylines possible and work tirelessly to ensure a greater diversity of voices represented in the news industry worldwide. Follow the IWMF on Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage, and Instagram on @TheIWMF.

Media Contact:
Charlotte Fox
Director of Communications
(202) 567-2615