These Incredible Women From Around The World Are Doing Amazing Things In Their Communities

25/03/2015 16:54 | Updated 25 March 2015

Despite making up 52% of the world's population, women are grossly under-represented in the media. While male politicians and world leaders dominate newspaper column inches, women are often reduced to sex objects or as victims.

But here at HuffPost UK Lifestyle, we're looking to challenge the status quo. That's why we're running our All Women Everywhere campaign, which celebrates women from all walks of life and shares stories of female empowerment from around the world.

The campaign, which runs throughout March, ties in with International Women's Day and Women's History Month, and has had support from prominent, trail-blazing women the world over.

So when the finalists for the Trust Women Photo Awards hit our inbox earlier this month, to say we were excited would be an understatement.

The awards, which HuffPost UK are proud to present exclusively, showcase the incredible work of photographers capturing the lives of remarkable women from around the world - women who are achieving incredible things in their own communities.


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The awards form part of the annual Microsoft and Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Women Conference, which is dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights and the fight against human trafficking and slavery.

“Women are the ultimate economic accelerators, spending 90% of everything they earn back on their families,” said Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa. “Think of the enormous implications of that. When a woman works, the whole family benefits; children are better fed, better educated and have more chances to succeed in life. This award wants to showcase women as game changers through the incredible power of images.’’

Here are a selection of the 10 finalists. The photo descriptions were submitted by the photographers and have not been changed by HuffPost UK.

Microsoft and Thomson Reuters Foundation partnered with Talenthouse, a creative collaboration platform and community of artists to empower photographers around the globe with a series of career opportunities as part of this year’s Trust Women Photo Award.

  • Making Ends Meet In A Hard Way
    (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard Media Group-Kenya)
    A casual laborer dries wet fingerlings popularly known by locals as 'omena' in Kenya at a Lake Victoria beach field at Koginga in Homabay county on December 28,2014 with her young one taking a nap on her back.

    The tiresome job which demands her presence from morning to evening has a pay of Ksh 100, a sign of constant maximization of human input with many beach workers living below two dollars in the natural resource-rich areas in Kenya. The single mother's daily income ends up in sustaining her family needs.
  • Defying Ageism, Gender Roles, and Floods
    Kelly Ranck
    In her remote Somali village, where women are often restricted to housework, family duties, and possible farming, Fatmah proves that, even in her old age, she is just as capable of building a dam as the men.
  • Breadwinner
    Prabir Kumar Talukdar
    Devi is a mid 40s woman living on the outskirts of the city Guwahati in Assam. Her husband is a terminally ill patient and she has two kids to look after to. But Devi is more enthusiastic than any of us.

    Instead of sulking around her luck, she is determined to fight and win bread for her family with a smile. Situated around the historic Chandubi Lake, she helps tourists in moving from one bank to another. She is also involved in mild fishing activity.

    Her livelihood is restricted till the daytime and off-monsoon period as this part of the area hasn't even received the minimal facility of electrification although Chandubi Lake attracts lots of tourists.

    Her life is hard and filled with pain but she is resilient to fight back.
  • The Joy Of Being Outcast No More
    Gloria Esegbona
    She is a girl clutching with joy her programme for the 1st conference in the world for women and girls with obstetric #fistula - a birth trauma to the body caused by lack of access to maternal care.

    Fistula affects more than 2 million women in the world and traditionally women are said to be poor, undignified and without rights and as outcast from all talk of solutions to maternal mortality and injury as they are said to be from their communities.

    So we invited them to come to their own conference - to set the agenda for the researchers, the surgeons and the policy makers. And come they did!!! Repaired or otherwise, Packing the compound with their energy and the spirit to talk about the challenges of simply being.

    Despite being illiterate these wonderful strong women and girls, decided for themselves the topics for their focus groups, debated them passionately and then presented their findings in their self designated plenaries with more aplomb, science and intelligence than any academic conference I have been to.

    The solutions were presented at the UNFPA #endfistula conference working group in Uganda - with the recommendations that all agendas be delivered with a woman centred focus. They have the solutions!!!
  • Donner, Partager, Aimer... (To Give, To Share, To Love)
    Beatrice Henri- France
    Des mains qui ont portés toute une vie... Celle de ma grand mère... (These hands have lived a full life. They are my grandmother's.)
  • My Sister, My Soulmate
    Alecsandra Raluca Drago
    When you feel the world is falling apart, the divorce is splitting your family and your life is turning in a way you never thought it would ever do, the best remedy is to be next to the ones who love you unconditionally.

    Asma and Aisha are proud to be Muslims and consider “Muslims in London are very straightforward, nice, upfront and very honest. They are who they are; they wear the scarf because they mean it. If they do not wear a scarf, it means they are not ready, at least their face value”.

    The problems after 9/11 have completely changed Muslims’ freedom; consequently they often become targets in the media. “People are pointing at us Muslims, our ties and our arms were punctured because of this.”

    But in spite of this issue, they stay strong and fight. In the Muslim culture, after the divorce, the father is the one who keeps the child. Asma and Aisha had the opportunity to fight against this law in order to keep their children.

    They live in a western culture, which had an influence over the decision. They mention: “If we had not divorced a few years ago, we would never have become the people we are today. We have learned how to be on our own feet. It was hard and challenging, but we loved to take this risk”.

    The family plays an important role in the Muslim world and “without the family support we get on the daily basis, we wouldn’t have been able to do this. We are five brothers and sisters, we consider ourselves to be fingers from the same hand. Together, we make a fist”.

    The relationship between Asma and Aisha is very strong and unique from many points of view. They have gone through similar problems, especially since the divorce happened in the same period. They had to raise their children together, and they became each other’s partner, which helped them stay strong. Asma says, “If I were a boy I would have been her husband, we are like partners, we do nothing without consulting each other.”

    Their close relationship started with the story Asma carries every day: “There was a time in 2008 when I was very sick and unwell, due to a problem I had in my life. For a short term – about six days – I have lost my memory completely for an unknown and strange reason. During that time, my sister was living with her then husband in Dubai, and she had been there for about a year and a half. I felt like my right hand has been ripped away from me, but I still continued to live and do what I had to do. I was very alone, because Aisha was my soul, and I was her body. She was unhappy there, and I was unhappy here. I became very unwell, and suddenly I had this complete breakdown and lost my memory completely and had to be admitted to the hospital. I still remember, the doctor gave me a paper and a pen and said to draw everything I remember. It was only one thing I remembered. I drew a picture of a girl who was wearing boots and an umbrella. It was a young girl, and I could not understand who was in the picture. My dad pulled that photo and realized that this was a photo of Aisha when she was seven years old, and the rain was in central London. So, the only thing I remembered was my sister. After my sister heard the story, within 24 hours she was next to my bedside. This is probably the greatest story of all time for my sister and me. Everything can be erased, besides my sister’s memory."

    Honesty is the best policy and without it they would have never maintained their relationship. For the past month, they have worked together to reach a new goal in building a wellness club. This idea came up after the divorce when they lost weight. They are ambitious in everything they do, especially in the fashion shows and the charities they take part of.

    They love to help, because they believe that, at one point, it will all reverse towards them and make them happy too.
  • Imbalance
    Mozhde Nourmohammadi- Spain
    Imbalance is a portrait of a young woman curled up on a Persian carpet and covered by a dress embroidered with gaudy, the colours of luxurious fabrics that envelope the figure make it float, weightless, the fetal position drawing her earthly vulnerability.

    She is a free leaf fallen from a dry branch, but no matter how strong the wind blows she is never carried away. In the depths of her eyes you can hear the echo of a silent scream: the primeval needs to sink roots into the earth; a fertile land no longer cultivated, unable to nourish the soul of this woman.

    She’s numb to the wealth that surrounds her, unable to enjoy its fruit. The explosive energy of colours and shapes remains in the background, the young woman oblivious of her being in the world.
  • Leading The Way, Sun Or Rain, Protecting With A Smile
    Aakash Vakil
    No better example of servitude, courage, and leadership than this lady police officer from the state of Rajasthan, India.

    She is confident yet humble, handling stress of work but staying cheerful at the same time. Hiding away all her problems behind her smile. That's true leadership by action.
  • Literacy Movement
    Debashis Mukherjee
    There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India A housewife of a remote rural area diving into the female literacy mission on her own. She is not getting any help of Government organization or any NGO. But she is trying to motivate mothers to send their children to school and simultaneously educate them also.

    At off time she teaching mothers and their children. She has no classroom so railway track is the ideal place for teaching.

    Trains are running once at 5am and 10pm. Name of this great lady is Mandira.
  • Loving Mother
    Diego Arroyo
    Single mother from Lamu, Kenya.
  • 1
    A Pakistani woman arranges bricks as she works at a brick factory on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 8, 2010. (Muhammed Muheisen/AP)
  • 2
    Dancer performs on a float during Viradouro samba school parade at the sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 28, 2006. (Andre Penner/AP)
  • 3
    Nepalese women shelter under umbrellas as they work to remove weed from a paddy field in Chitwan, about 44 miles southwest of Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Aug.1, 2010. (/APGemunu Amarasinghe/AP)
  • 4
    A North Korean woman works at the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang textile factory, Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Wong Maye-E/AP)
  • 5
    In this Wednesday, March, 5, 2014 photo, Afghan women boxers practice at the Kabul stadium boxing club. (Massoud Hossaini/AP)
  • 6
    An Indian female laborer works at a brick factory in Allahabad on March 7, 2013. (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 7
    Pallaqueras, female gold miners, search for gold on a load of waste rock from the gold mines on Aug. 4 2012 in La Rinconada, Peru. (Jan Sochor/Latincontent/Getty Images)
  • 8
    A Bedouin woman of the Al-Qiyaan tribe stands while working outside her house on Dec. 5, 2013 At the Bedouin village of Umm Al-Hiran, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
  • 9
    A woman working on her wooden weaving loom in the countryside of Bhutan. (Andrew Eio/Getty Images)
  • 10
    Mandy Diehr, employee of the Landgut Pretschen farm, checks the maturity of chicory plants on Jan. 2, 2014 in Pretschen, eastern Germany. (PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 11
    Students in the nutrition technology department working on acid base volumetric analysis at the Beuth technical college on Oct. 31, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. (Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images)
  • 12
    A female engineer hand-builds a M157 5.5L V8 bi-turbo engine at the Mercedes-AMG engine production factory in Affalterbach, Germany. (Tim Graham/Getty Images)
  • 13
    An Akha Hilltribe woman picks Oolong #17 tea leaves during a harvest at the Suwirun Tea farm in the hills outside of Chaing Rai Nov. 11, 2012 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
  • 14
    Portrait of American artist and illustrator Tara McPherson in her studio in New York, on Aug. 24, 2013. (Joby Sessions/Computer Arts Magazine/Getty Images)
  • 15
    A Cuban woman works in the H. Upmann cigar factory on Feb. 26, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo/Getty Images)
  • 16
    Liu Shujian, a 90-year-old lady, continues her electro welding work at Wanshousi Street on Dec. 5, 2014 in Shenyang, Liaoning province of China. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
  • 17
    A woman works at a plant of porcelain manufacturing society JL Coquet in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat near Limoges, France on July 5, 2013. (MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 18
    Batik craftswomen apply melted wax to fine cotton textiles to produce characteristic figurative designs at a workshop in Solo city in Central Java, Indonesia on June 29, 2009. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 19
    Indian actress Vemi Rephung from Nagaland (C) takes a break during the shooting of a song sequence on the sets of the forthcoming Bollywood movie - "Go Goa Gone" at Filmcity in Mumbai on April 8, 2013. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 20
    Women working in a ginger and spice factory, selecting ginger roots in the Fort Cochin area on Nov. 23, 2011 in Cochin, Kerala, India. (EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)
  • 21
    A woman distributes salt in Baie des Moustiques, Port de Paix in Haiti on April 3, 2014. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 22
    Palestinian woman Amal Abu-Rqayiq works at her small carpentry work-shop in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the Gaza City, Gaza on March 8, 2014. Amal is a 40-year-old divorcee and working in a male-dominated profession to help raise a daughter with special needs. (Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • 23
    A young African woman at work in the fields, watering crops just outside Bangui pictured on March 13, 2014 near Bangui, Central African Republic. (Thomas Koehler/Photothek/Getty Images)
  • 24
    Workers handle rubber sheets as they pass through a rubber sheet washing machine at the Thai Hua Rubber Pcl factory in Samnuktong, Rayong province, Thailand, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
  • 25
    An employee of the Lemaitre Demeestere company works with a linen loom on April 16, 2013 in Halluin, northern France. (PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 26
    An employee stands in front of bottles at a winery in Tbilisi on Feb. 11, 2013. (VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 27
    Women taking part in a cash for work program run by the French non-governmental organization Action Against Hunger to build dikes to hold water pose on March 21, 2012 near the village of Palboa, 300 kms northeast of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. (RAPHAEL DE BENGY/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 28
    Day laborers carry bananas during a harvest in a field in the district of Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, India, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. (Sanjit Das/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
  • 29
    Cristina Isidro Salazar (left) and Felicitas Contreras Santiago repair their truck so they can deliver wood to construction sites around town on Oct. 30, 2006 in the town of San Pablo Huixtepec, Mexico. (Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)
  • 30
    An Indian woman works collecting salt in the salt pans near Dhrangadhra, Gujarat. (Malcolm Chapman/Getty Images)

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