One of a series of Laura’s images that won the Terry O’Neill title

Palestinian freelance photographer Laura Boushnak triumphed in the annual contest with a series of photos of women who were the first in their families to consider higher education.

Laura’s project, which won the Portraiture category, was entitled: ‘I Read I Write: Yemen-Access to Education’.

Commenting on the images Laura, who was born in Kuwait, said: ‘They spoke about their achievements, challenges and dreams, in an ultra-conservative society where many believe that women are destined for marriage to protect their chastity and their role is solely in the home.’

Javier Arcenillas, who topped the reportage category, was named overall runner-up.

Award judge Lord Puttnam, said: ‘I love the images we chose and I hope, when published, that they have the same impact on others as they had on me.’

The winners, announced earlier this week, were selected from a shortlist of 50.