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100 Years of Honoring Women

A hilltribe woman named Ya totes a basket of meat along a dirt road through rural northeastern Cambodia.

Today marks a century since International Women’s Day began. The day has roots in labor disputes amid global industrialization, and the fights for women’s rights to work, vote, hold office and pursue dreams without discrimination. How far have we come? What progress have we made in 100 years? I leave those questions for you to answer.

I’ve gone through a year’s worth of blog posts to find the faces of women I have introduced to you in that time. I re-post those pictures here, now, in honor of all women around the world.

Girls pound rocks to build a trail along the India/Nepal border. They do this work during their school vacation.

A vendor serves breakfast noodle soup in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam.

A woman chops fish in the morning market, Battambang, Cambodia.

Ethnic Wa women gather at the village tap for end-of-day bathing before cooking dinner.

A young woman makes spicy chile sauce in rural Sophoon village, Phongsali, Laos.

A villager in southern Laos works in her garden while a bomb-clearance team searches for unexploded ordnance in her yard. They found a small bomb in the field next door.

A young Hmong woman named Shu shares dinner with her daughter and colleagues who work at a tourist hotel in Sapa, northern Vietnam.

Khmer cook Nary shows how to make sour soup at her cooking school in Battambang, Cambodia.

A woman pauses—with her many boxes of foodstuffs—at a river crossing in Muang Khoua, Laos.

American Kyle Cornforth is pictured on the organic farm where she worked in northern Thailand before returning to the Chez Panisse Foundation.

Buddhist nuns conduct their evening prayers near Mandalay, Burma.

A villager feeds her pigs, using a bomb casing found in the nearby forest. Many of these casings remain since the US bombing raids nearly 40 years ago.

A Bangkok vendor prepares dinners minutes before a citywide curfew during violent riots in May 2010.

Traders prepare to move their goods across a river in Muang Khoua, Laos.

A Lahu woman washes in her mountain village in Shan State, Burma.

A Hmong woman named Cu (Shu’s mother) sells her embroidered handicrafts at the Sapa market.

A woman in Boulapha, Laos, tends her raised herb garden, planted in an old bomb casing.

An Akha woman in Shan State works on her farm.

Kids (mostly girls) tote firewood along the India/Nepal border.

A villager in Sophoon, Laos, prepares cassava from her field.

A vendor sells water grass (trou koun) at a Battambang market.

Friends enjoy brunch at the Sam Neua Sunday morning market, Laos.

Rosi, my niece, deep into dinner. She eats just about anything.

7 replies on “100 Years of Honoring Women”

Beautiful photos and a lovely tribute. When I lived in China, my school always did something to celebrate Women’s Day. One year we went to a tea house and listened as people extolled different beauty products and told us how to exercise to get a more beautiful figure. I’m so glad your pictures reflect more than that.

What a stunning collection of photos of women at work-morning to night. And you topped it off with Rosi! What a delight!
Rosi’s Gwamps

Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful comments – but once again, I cannot take credit for the photos. That goes to Jerry. And I must agree with Ellis – the women we have met around the world, up to their knees in paddy mud or up to their arms in wok grease – are exceptionally, naturally beautiful.

I love the photos. Of all of them, An Akha woman in Shan State works on her farm is my absolute favorte. Gorgeous. The lines, the expression. cheers.

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