International Women’s day 2012

© Wendy Marijnissen

Today is International Woman’s day, held across the globe to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

This years theme is ‘Connecting girls, inspiring futures’. It again made me think about some of the inspiring women I met along my way as a photographer trotting around the globe in the past few years.  In honor of some of these women I’ve linked up to some of the photographs so you can discover some of them yourself.

Included are :

Shirin Ebadi, lawyer and human rights activist engaged in the struggle for equal rights in Iran.

Muhktar Mai, a Pakistani woman who used compensation money from a gang-rape to start schools and a women’s shelter.

Fawzia Koofi, the first woman who became vice-president of the Afghan parliament  and presidential candidate for the upcoming elections in 2014.

Jamila, a mother fighting the judicial and social system of Pakistan after a man raped and murdered her daughter.

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian politician and anti-corruptionactivist, kidnapped and held in captivity for over 6 years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Hamida, a Pakistani woman living in a tent camp after a devastating flood.

Dr Musarat, a Pakistani gynecologist working and teaching tirelessly in a government hospital in Karachi.

to name just a few… so many inspirational women cross my path in both my professional and personal life.

Women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the world’s income and own only 1% of the property.  To change these statistics we need better legislation and different mentality overall. We need to challenge the attitudes and systems which perpetuate gender inequality across the world.

Today, think about the women in your life, the connections you’ve made and the girls who are inspiring your future. Happy International Women’s day everyone!!

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