she-files photo contest winners: the beauty of the female

LONDON AND DENVER–As the year comes to a close, wanted to highlight and show off some of the amazing photographs of women and girls from across the globe, taken by our supportive and enthusiastic readers during 2017. With a global audience of over 45,000 from Brazil to Botswana and Mexico to Malaysia, we received some lovely entries that helped highlight how women across the globe are perceived, recognised, understood and championed. So here are the winners (and a favorite personal photo each taken by both Ginanne and Kristin as well).

The black and white photo above was taken by Karen Grose, who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. She told us that Dani (left) and Nikki (right) are forming a relationship. “Dani’s mom died when she was three [and] Nikki has just started dating Dani’s father.”  We loved the simplicity and warmth in this captured moment of bonding.



Mel Maddison-Stanton took this photo of her cheerful daughter, Aria, in Mackay, Australia. She said of the photo, “She is so full of confidence and energy. I love seeing how she beams with pride.” We did too.









This photo came to us from Leah Murugi King’ori from Embu, Kenya. She said that the photo is of her friend making traditional millet porridge. “She ensures her family is well nourished.” We loved the simplicity and determination that this image captured.






This photo was taken by Admire Fourie, who took it of her mother, Marie, at Bass Lake in Henley-on-Kip, South Africa. Marie said of the photograph that it, “is a woman taking care of her mental and emotional health, letting go of stress and negativity.” We like the freshness of picture.







Kenyan women really got involved with our contest. This one was from Lizzie Kang’ethe of her friend, Elizabeth Njambi, who is from Thika. “Beautiful-mom-to-be expressed how joyful she is, [emjoying] the view of Lake Naivasha shores. I love how serene she looks.” So did we.








This one is from Misbah Khan in Pakistan. The photo was taken at an event in Karachi and they are the intricately  hands decorated in henna on 12-year-old Aliya, who is a member of the Pak Sheehan Boxing Club. “The thing I like about it is that it represents to me beauty and power.” Fantastic capture.








Denetta Duff Quintin from Colombia, Maryland in the United States sent this in of a 17-year-old young woman (presumably her daughter) on her way to her Junior Prom dance. Excellent choice of reading material.






This was a particular favorite of ours in that it captures the faces of women who are improving the lives of girls in their community. Emma Lynch, from Sheffield, England sent this one in and said: “Young mother enterprise initiative raising funds to provide school uniforms for girls in the community. They taught me determination and resilience.” It was taken in Bwanalira village, Iganga district, Uganda.






This, from Christine Wambui in Kenya, was taken of a young woman eating locally made chapati. The stunning photographs was captured at a children’s home event and we loved the angle and also the very enigmatic look on this woman’s face.






And a last one from Kenya, taken by she-files contributor Emily Onyango during the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta. When the elections were held in August, the country had flare-ups of violence and the country’s Supreme Court in September blamed failings by the electoral commission for its decision to annul the vote held in August.  We liked that it showed the simple pleasure of women enjoying their ice cream.




We also wanted to share each of our favourites that we took this year. For Ginanne, it was a photo she took of an older woman at a street market in Hoi An, Vietnam. The subject was not very pleased to have her picture snapped but her face was so rich and full of her history that it was something Ginanne wanted to capture. The woman is selling sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. She is wearing the hat because it was rainy season and water was pouring down making the market, that is close to the river bank, almost flooded.




For Kristin, it was a photo of her daughter on a beach, hair disheveled, absorbed in the task at hand of looking for rocks. Kristin loved this photo because it captures an innocent moment in which a girl is allowed to simply be a child.


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