Video: Making women’s work visible

Photography is a powerful medium for telling stories — but not all stories are equally visible.

That’s why the Hewlett Foundation, Getty Images Reportage and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WEIGO) partnered to create a collection of high-quality photographs to show the ways that women around the world work, often in informal and invisible jobs.

The narrated photo essay, “Making women’s work visible,” showcases some of these images of women cleaning homes, collecting recyclables, sewing garments and selling goods in local markets, and features the views of photojournalists Jonathan Torgovnik, Paula Bronstein and Juan Arredondo.

The women and men in the photographs are members of informal worker organizations in Colombia, Ghana, India, Peru, South Africa and Thailand that are affiliated with WIEGO, which works to improve the lives of informal workers and their families.

“Most people are surprised to learn that informal employment is more than half of non-agricultural employment in most developing regions,” WIEGO global projects director Rhonda Douglas said when the images were released earlier this year. “Informal is the new normal, and these photos highlight the immense contributions of informal workers as they go about their daily lives. The dignity of individual workers shines through in every photo.”

The full collection of photographs includes more than 1,000 images, which are available for free to noncommercial users via, where they are openly licensed.

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