A series of portraits about the remarkable achievements of women who, with their acts of courage and their determination in fulfilling their ambitions, have contributed to the progress of humankind.
About this project
Every day, women all over the world experience some form of gender inequality: from access to education to violence, sexual assault and rape; from FGM to representation in government and business; from child marriage to career opportunities; from objectification to human trafficking and more.
Encouragingly, over the past century many societies have enjoyed increased gender equality, and in the past few years public awareness on the issue has gained worldwide traction.
Yet, even in countries with established anti- gender discrimination legislations, sexism still permeates society and limits women in their paths to reach their individual potential. Inequality exists in our minds, in our biases and prejudices. Gender discrimination is so widespread and finely embedded in many cultures, that women themselves sometimes fail to realise what they are capable of achieving.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering that, for millennia, women have been precluded from shaping and leading society. And when — despite all odds — they’ve succeeded, they’ve often been omitted from history books, monuments and road names. By forgetting women’s contribute to humanity, we shape societies that don’t benefit from their strengths and that relegate them to play marginal roles.
What is extraordinary is that, despite the incessant challenges, women everywhere and throughout history have succeeded. They have shown that they too can do it.
As I was growing up, my mother taught me about women’s strengths and women’s rights, and my father always encouraged me to be strong and independent. Now, I too feel that I’d like to help spread the same ideas of gender equality to others.
Extraordinary Women is a series of portraits about the remarkable achievements of women who, with their acts of courage and their determination in fulfilling their ambitions, have contributed to the progress of humankind.
This project is my way of remembering them, celebrating their stories and recognising their achievements. I wish to inspire women of every age and culture to dare to be what they want to be, and to encourage everyone to believe that being woman is not a limit to what women can do.
I hope you will share these stories with others, because hearing about women’s achievements and bravery makes other women feel braver too.
~ Debora Montesoro