“There is No Limit to What We As Women Can Accomplish” – Michelle Obama
“The tattoo I got in memory of my late granddad reminds me of a very permanent decision that I made – to let go of the grief. It took over two years and several breakdowns before I got there. Now nothing empowers me more than knowing that he’s always going to be a part of me.” – Meghana Sumesh, Chennai, India. Photo by Vrinda Rayam”
It is no secret that women are universally under-represented in positions of power and ranks of significance. Or that in many parts of the world, they are still denied based human rights, such as the right to choose who they will marry, be free of violence, abuse, or modern slavery, or to even to pursue and education. David Attenborough once said that the best way to change the world, and deal with over population would be to give women in the developing world two things: education and contraception.
The world grants fewer opportunities to women, and gender disparity still progresses at a snails pace in some parts of the world, although it would be good to take a moment and celebrate Sweden, which currently has a female deputy prime minister, Isabella Lovin. What makes Sweden so progressive? Do share your thoughts and ideas in the comment box. So, who is to blame? The mainstream media, certainly had to shoulder some of the blame, with its foot firmly on the peddle of mass culture, and its contrived, one-dimensional and idealised portrayals of women.
CELEBRATE WOMEN is a photography initiative that seeks to challenge gender stereotypes. Women were invited to respond to the question, “what empowers you?” Each participant is photographed with an idea or passion she brings to the table, and given creative control over her visual narrative with the technical support of a practiced photographer. The women who took part were able to explore and showcase their identities in whatever way felt comfortable. The project launched on International Women’s Day last year, and involved four photographers based in New York City and Shanghai. 70 women shared their stories, and the project was viewed over 20,000 times.
As a finale, CELEBRATE WOMEN was presented at the United Nations 60th Commission on the Status of Women. The series is an international collaboration between photographers who use their talents to promote gender equality. CELEBRATE WOMEN is commentary into the diversity and complexity of female identity with no barriers, no limits. We hope you love this year’s crop of women inspired to truly express their dreams, their hopes and their identities firmly on their terms.