International Women’s Day – Celebrating Ladies Day

Today is International Women’s Day so it seems appropriate to celebrate some of the wonderful females of our planet with a photo post of portraits. Those that read this site regularly will already be aware of my love of portraiture so any excuse to share. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder apparently but few can deny that everyone of the fabulous ladies featured here is a vision of loveliness.

International Women's Day; A group of bored ladies in Havana the capital of the Caribbean island of Cuba on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-164A cuban-ladies.jpg

Bored maybe but elderly stateswomen

International Women's Day; Mature lady on the Greek island of Crete on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-41 cretan_lady-1

Cretan craftswoman and grandmother

The day is about more than pretty women however, the motivation is to highlight the important role women play in society and the injustice they often have to deal with. In some parts of the world they also suffer oppression, domestic violence and sexual aggression/rape being used as a weapon. The unfortunate truth is that throughout the world women face intolerable mistreatment.

International Women's Day; Moroccan women in Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakech on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_00282a-1 moroccan_women-1

Moroccan women in Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

International Women's Day; Passionate Portuguese football supporters in the National Football Stadium, Warsaw, Poland on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-50-1 portuguese_ladies;jpg

Passionate Portuguese football supporters

There are cultures that force women to dress to merely avoid men being tempted by their attractiveness, there was even some recent discussion of women being forced to cover their eyes. Genital mutilation is an especially horrific act carried out supposedly to protect the honour of females prior to marriage.

International Women's Day; Exhibitor at the Honduran stand in Berlin ITB in Germany on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-6 honduran_woman

Striking Honduran

International Women's Day; Exhibitors at the Berlin ITB in Germany on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-5 berlin_itb

Inviting visitors to their country

In Darfur and Chad mass rape is commonly used as a weapon of terror. Young women are being subjected to sexual assault almost on a daily basis, many having to endure these attacks completing daily tasks essential for their family survival. It is a choice forced upon them, their male relatives would be murdered if they visited the local water source therefore they must continually risk horrendous attacks. In these countries rape is a weapon, women are being terrorised by criminals masquerading as rebel groups and even security forces that are supposed to be protecting them have been implicated.

International Women's Day; Texting girls in Trinidad on the Caribbean island of Cuba on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-178 trinidad_girls

Updating their Facebook status

It is not only in the developing world that women are subjected to injustice, domestic violence is disturbingly common. Many cases are not reported and while plenty of us have probably been touched by domestic violence, we are probably not even aware of some female friends or acquaintances that regularly suffer abuse. It is an everyday occurrence in our own neighbourhoods.

International Women's Day Aboriginal woman in Hahndorf near Adelaide, Australia on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-67 aboriginal_woman

An original settler near Adelaide

Women and children are usually the ones exploited by human trafficking, they are traded like commodities for sexual or domestic labour reasons. Slavery may have been officially abolished but it is still a large and lucrative industry which is alive, well and trading on women.

Additionally women are subjected to inequality in the workplace. Men are often offered executive positions ahead of women that are at least equally well qualified. Even when a woman is successful in securing a position, her rate of pay maybe lower than that of her male colleagues.

The womenfolk of Setcases in Catalonia Spain take a break from the annual Sardana festival on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_035900-1 setcases_catalonia.jpg

Mainly women in Setcases, Catalonia taking a break

Women are often preyed upon or unjustly treated as they are wrongly perceived as the weaker sex. Both sexes have to face their own challenges, women are required to learn how to be women but equally men have the same learning process. This process of education is how we are expected to act, a result of our upbringing, parents, examples from other role models, media, literature and environment all shape the manner in which we behave. Women have to cope with additional challenges and pressures, usually placed upon them by men. That they often manage very ably is a sign of their strength.

Today is about highlighting the challenges that women face but it is also about celebrating their strength, inner beauty and  accomplishments. Womenkind appears to understand that aggression and intolerance is true weakness, mankind it seems has yet to fully comprehend this.

Female divinity has been celebrated throughout history and in many cultures, modern society appears to have forgotten the importance of women. Progress is not always a good thing, many supposedly undeveloped cultures not only live in harmony with their environment but women are the main focus of their culture; matriarchal societies. These are often peaceful cultures and this is unlikely to be a coincidence.

International Women's Day; Young Omani girls in national dress performing at the Muscat Festival on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-7 omani_girls

The next generation

It is important that there are days which are devoted to drawing our attention to any injustice but equally provides a chance to realise the potential and the positives within our society. Women have made great strides in achieving recognition and equality but there is still some distance to go.

International Women's Day; Cuban ladies in Havana the capital city of the Caribbean island on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-174 havana_ladies

All is good in Havana

This is my own small way of participating in International Women’s Day, by celebrating the female of our species.

Moroccan woman working in an Argan oil cooperative near Essaouira on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_07427 moroccan_woman-1

Moroccan woman near Essaouira


Comments 6

    1. Post

      Hi Alex I hadn’t realised they look like paintings. Maybe it has something to do with RAW images retaining all the information?

    1. Post
  1. Lawrence

    Hi Alex,

    I am an artist and would like to request your permission to paint the photo ‘bored maybe but elderly stateswomen’

    I find it a very interesting picture and well composed. It is not a painting I will sell, just for my own practice.

    Kind Regards,


    1. Post

      Sure Lawrence, glad you find it interesting and a suitable image for painting. I would love to see a pic of the result when finished.

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