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SDN Announces
Call for Entries
Call for Entries

Deadline for entries:

May 31, 2011

More Info> 


SDN encourages photographers to think broadly about the term "visual landscape". The judges for this Call for Entries are interested in how the world looks different today than it did on September 10, 2001. Prizes include $1000 to first place winner, exhibition at powerHouse Arena in New York, and other prizes. Click to find out more.  


SPOTLIGHT: Celebrating Women Worldwide 
March 14, 2011

On March 8, the world celebrated the 100th International Women's Day, marking the economic, political and social achievements of women. This month is International Women's History Month, and this year, the theme is equal access to education, training, science, technology, and a pathway to decent work for women. In this special SDN Spotlight, we feature exhibits that celebrate the lives of women from around the globe. These exhibits highlight some inspiring ways that women are making improvements to their own health care, education, livelihoods, and political empowerment, despite daunting challenges to women's rights that still remain. 

Mother of a Nation

By Ansley West

Ansley West

Photo by Ansley West. Robinah's Chicken, Jinja, Uganda, 2010

A group of empowered Ugandan women struggle with changes in society's traditional roles after women's suffrage was granted in 1985. Ugandan women endure oppression everyday in a society controlled by men, but their determination and toil runs the nation.

 Click here  to view the exhibit.
Ethiopian Midwives: A Sustainable Source of Reproductive Health Care
By Jonathan Hanson
Jonathan Hanson

Photo by Jonathan Hanson. Students sit in a class at the Hamlin College of Midwifery outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has some of the highest maternal and infant death rates in the world. On average, 670 mothers will die from birth for every 100,000. Women often face serious birth injuries, including obstetric fistula which leaves women incontinent and in public shame. The Hamlin Fistula hospital has combined forces with the Ethiopian government and has implemented a new school of midwifery called, The Hamlin College of Midwifery.

  Click here to view the exhibit.  

Behind Walls

Girls' Education and Daily Life in Rural Morocco 

By Amy Thompson Avishai  
Amy Thompson Avishai

Photo by Amy Thompson Avishai. Honoring king and country at the end of the school day.

The Dar Taliba is a girls' dormitory located in southern Morocco, in El Hanchane, a small dusty town between the tourist spots of Marrakesh and Essaouira. Because of economic limitations and cultural traditions, illiteracy for women in rural Morocco can reach as high as 90 percent. As part of a national initiative to help girls in remote areas receive a secondary education, dormitories like these have been built across the country. As the young King Mohammed VI said, "We have focused our interest, first, on rural women, the group most affected by the ills of illiteracy and poverty -- two issues I firmly believe are at the heart of human rights, just as they may constitute structural obstacles to democracy."


Click here to view the exhibit. 

Life Goes On-August in Afghanistan

By Connie Frisbee Houde
Connie Frisbee Houde

Photo by Connie Frisbee Houde. A daughter watches her mother showing her products. From the sales of her work, she buys supplies for the cooperative as well as supports her family.

The leader of an economic cooperative in Estalif started with only a few Afghan women. Now there are five shuras of approximately 100 women in each. They learn traditional Afghan embroidery, tailoring and pottery. From the sales of their work, they buy supplies for the cooperative, as well as support their families.  

 Click here to view the exhibit.  

A Divine Dance

By Marti Belcher
Marti Belcher

Photo by Marti Belcher. Portrayer of Lakshmi, Consort of Vishnu.

This body of work was inspired by Indian women. Whether working building highways or carrying heavy loads on their heads, they balance the pieces of the dance.  The 'Woman's Dance of Life' first steps are learned in childhood.

 Click here to view the exhibit.  

Untangling Threads

Female Artisans in Morocco's Rug Weaving Industry
By Anna Beeke

Anna Beeke

Photo by Anna Beeke. Fadma, an older weaver from the Ait Hamza weaving cooperative, poses in her home.

Women in Morocco have maintained the age-old craft of indigenous weaving. This project seeks to document the environment and culture of female weavers who have recently begun to participate in local and global markets. It specifically focuses on artisans from three rural weaving communities: Ain Leuh, Ait Hamza, and Taznakht. 

  Click here to view the exhibit.  

Seaweed Farmers in Zanzibar
By Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper

Photo by Joanna Lipper. The thin thread that connects seaweed farmers in Zanzibar to the global economy is growing more fragile by the day as poverty levels rise and environmental and economic activities like seaweed farming become increasingly unsustainable.

In Jambiani, a rural village on the east coast of Unguja, some women work as seaweed farmers. On a global level, the import and export of seaweed is a $200 billion business, with the United States importing nearly $50 billion worth each year. Zanzibar is at a disadvantage when it comes to profits derived from seaweed cultivation because the islands lack the large-scale infrastructure and hardware needed to process seaweed and extract valuable algae. Without microfinance loans, improved education, and community organization amongst laborers, there can be no further growth for seaweed farming as a cash-generating empowering occupation for rural village women. 

Click here  to view the exhibit.  

Ordinary Lives
By Rania Matar

Rania Matar

Photo by Rania Matar. Nun with Blowing Veil, Saydat al Nouryeh Convent, Chekka 2008.

This exhibit focuses on women and children of the Middle East. Whereas the media typically covers the Middle East in a sensational manner: terrorism, bombings and kidnappings, the large majority of the inhabitants are just ordinary people going on with their everyday lives.

 Click here  to view the exhibit.  

About SocialDocumentary.net
SocialDocumentary.net is a website for photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students to create and explore documentary exhibits investigating critical issues facing the world today. Recent exhibits have explored oil workers in the Niger River Delta, male sex workers in India, Central American immigrant women during their journey north, and Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Greece.Click here to view all of the exhibits. 

Spotlight editor: Barbara Ayotte