Bibi Aisha on TIME cover
The cover of the Aug. 9, 2010 issue of TIME magazine features a photo of Bibi Aisha with a mutilated nose. The photo taken by South African photographer Jodi Bieber is World Press Photo of the Year 2010. Jodi Bieber/INSTITUTE for TIME

Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old abused Afghan woman was punished brutally for fleeing her husband’s house – her ears and nose were cut off. The rescue by American soldiers took her to the cover of the Aug. 9 issue of TIME magazine last year, which has won the 54th annual World Press Photo Contest and has been chosen World Press Photo of the Year 2010.

The portrait of Bibi Aisha taken by South African photographer Jodi Bieber won the award for, it vividly portrays the state of women in the world, according to World Press Photo jury.

“It's an incredibly strong image. It sends out an enormously powerful message to the world, about the 50% 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,” Ruth Eichhorn, a member of the jury said in a statement released by Amsterdam-based World Press Photo foundation.

World Press Photo contest is one of the largest press photography contests that takes pictures to a wider audience. “This photo makes people ask What on earth...? What's going on...? What has happened...? For me, this was the picture that asked the most important questions,” asserted another jury member, Aidan Sullivan.