In celebration of International Women’s Day, a photo series titled 40×40, lead by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), reflects the achievements of women who have made an extraordinary impact on their countries and communities. Through the lens of 40 female photographers tapped from all corners of the world, the social media campaign sheds light on the original photos that showcase female empowerment.
Among the collective of female photographers, six of the regional photographers include Kuwaiti Djinane AlSuwayeh and Maha Al Asaker, Yemani Yumna Al-Arashi, Ayla Hibri from Lebanon, Sherifa Hamid, who hails from Egypt, and London-based Shaista Deen. “Photography to me is one of the most beautiful art forms,” Shaista Deen––of Trinidadian and of West Indian descent––tells Vogue Arabia. “Culture is something I hold very dear to me, and being able to explore various cultures through the eyes of another person is truly a beautiful thing. I feel immensely honored to be amongst 40 women showcasing what empowerment, strength, togetherness and resilience means to them, as each of their images hold a different experience from various parts of the world,” Deen adds.
Speaking to Vogue Arabia about the project, UNFPA’s Usen Esiet shares: “UNFPA seeks to celebrate women by providing a platform for them to tell their stories themselves. Words alone are not enough to capture the essence of what it means to be a woman, but a powerful photo can do just that.”