Frontlines Online Edition
Climate Change 2015
September/October 2015

Photo Contest: What Do Empowered Women and Girls Look Like?

Two female engineers from Afghanistan's national power utility Example photo submission for USAID's 2015 Gender Photo Contest Stefan Korshak, USAID
Investing in gender equality to unlock human potential

For more than 50 years, USAID has been working to empower women and girls as leaders in families, communities and countries in order to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies.

Investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment can unlock human potential on a transformational scale.

According to the World Bank, countries with greater gender equality are more prosperous and competitive. Countries that invest in girls’ education have lower maternal and infant deaths, lower rates of HIV and AIDS, and better child nutrition.

When women participate in civil society and politics, governments are more open, democratic and responsive to citizens. And simply by empowering women farmers with the same access to land, new technologies and capital as men, we can increase crop yields by as much as 30 percent, helping to feed a growing population.

For its latest photo contest, FrontLines is asking readers to help showcase how women and girls are changing the world around them, and working toward a brighter, more prosperous future for all.

The contest is open to any FrontLines reader, including USAID employees and alumni; employees of NGOs and contractors; and representatives from universities, foundations and other organizations that have partnered with the Agency over the decades.

Photos should illustrate USAID’s development activities to empower women and girls—with a special focus on women and girls in technology, infrastructure, energy, water and leadership roles. Before-and-after photo combinations that showcase how USAID has changed lives in developing countries will also be accepted.

Be sure to include the story behind the image—whether it was an especially rewarding triumph or a setback that offered a hard-learned and never-forgotten lesson. 

Story for photo above: Two female engineers from Afghanistan's national power utility, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, discuss a blueprint at a construction site. They both work under a USAID program to provide quality assurance and logistical support for U.S.-funded infrastructure projects. December 2014, Afghanistan.

The winning photos will be featured in FrontLines as well as in USAID’s Flickr, Instagram and Impact Newsletter. In addition, photos may be displayed at high-level USAID events, tagged “Winner of USAID's 2015 Gender Photo Contest.”

Keep in mind the following:

  • The deadline for submissions is Oct. 30.
  • Digital photo entries shot at high resolution (at least 1 megabyte) are preferred.
  • Include the date (an approximation is OK) and location for the photograph.
  • Include the name of the photographer and, if applicable, the dates he/she worked at USAID.
  • Five entries per person will be accepted.
  • Submitting a photo through this contest grants USAID full reproduction rights to the images, including use in official USAID print and online publications, at official USAID events, and in the USAID photo gallery.

Send all entries, and any questions, to with the subject: Photo Contest. A panel of USAID employees will declare winners and runners-up.