Photo exhibition features rural women's contributions to sustainable development

Wednesday, 2018-10-10 17:34:35
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Visitors at the event. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)
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NDO – Winners of a photo contest featuring rural Vietnamese women and sustainable development were announced at an exhibition, which opened at the Vietnamese Women's Museum, No. 36 Ly Thuong Kiet street, Hanoi, on October 10.

The contest was launched in March on the occasion of International Women's Day 2018 and was open to all Vietnamese nationals to submit photos that illustrate the contribution of rural women to the sustainable growth and prosperity of Vietnam, as well as reflecting changes regarding rural women and sustainable development.

Among over 1,000 photos submitted by 151 photographers across the country, the organisers and the UN Women, with the support of the Australian and Canadian Embassies in Vietnam, chose to grant four awards to the best photos. Accordingly, the first prize went to photographer Giang Dong Son, the second prize went to photographer Quang Ba Hai and the third belonged to female photographer Le Thi Kim Lien. A people’s choice award for the top voted photo from the public was also granted to photographer Vu Minh Duc.

Representatives from the organising board join a group photo with the contest winners. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

The top 40 photos shortlisted from the submissions will be on display at the museum until November 10. They highlight the contestants' recognition of the significant contributions made by rural women to the prosperity of their communities across many areas, including technology, sustainable agriculture, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation entrepreneurship, leadership and decision making, and the promotion of substantive equality between women and men in rural area.

Discussing his photos, first prize winner Giang Dong Son said that the topic of women is a focus in photography. During his trips to many locales across Vietnam, Son has captured the image of rural women labouring and recognised the gap between them and their peers in urban areas, from which promoting the contributions and reflecting on the difficulties facing rural women.

Photographer Giang Dong Son receives the first prize for a set of four photos on rural women taken across Vietnam. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

Even in the absence of words, photos can portray reality in a manner that is honest, eye opening, thought provoking and reflective, while still being entertaining and easily understood, said Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Head of Office in Vietnam. She said she believed that photography is a powerful tool to raise awareness and to trigger positive development in society, including positive changes regarding the empowerment of rural Vietnamese women.

Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Head of Office in Vietnam, addresses the opening of the exhibition. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

Addressing the exhibition opening, Kellie Raab, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, said the photos help bring the public closer to the hardworking rural women who are the backbone of Vietnam's economy, while highlighting some of the critical challenges these women face.

Delegates cut the ribbon to open the exhibition. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

According to a report from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam in 2015, women constitute a significant percentage of the agricultural workforce in the country. In some rural areas, up to 63.4% of working women are in agriculture compared to 57.5% of working men. Rural women make substantial contributions to Vietnam's economic growth, however, rural women and girls remain among those most likely to experience poverty and lack access to resources, such as land, agricultural extension, finance, education and healthcare.

Following are the top four photos from the contest provided by UN Women:

The first prize photo by photographer Giang Dong Son.

The second prize photo by photographer Quang Ba Hai.

The third prize photo by female photographer Le Thi Kim Lien.

The people’s choice award photo by photographer Vu Minh Duc.

TRUNG HUNG