ActionAid’s Women by Women Exhibition at Oxo Tower

17 September 2021

ActionAid Media Centre

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To celebrate women shattering stereotypes in front of and behind the lens, ActionAid UK is launching its second Women by Women photography exhibition at Oxo Tower’s Gallery@Oxo.

From Senegal’s shrinking islands, to the sprawling settlements of Dhaka, the ‘Shattering Stereotypes’ exhibition follows the lives of courageous women in challenging circumstances who have found ways to tackle sexual violence and climate change on behalf of their communities.

Building on the success of its launch exhibition in March 2020, the ground-breaking photo campaign commissions women photographers in Africa, Asia, and the Americas to tell the stories of women and girls  to shatter stereotypes. The exhibition will feature collections shot by women photographers from Bangladesh (Habiba Nowrose), Palestine (Samar Hazboun), Nigeria  (Etinosa Yvonne), Senegal (Ina Makosi) and Vietnam (Yen Duong).

Women by Women brings an antiracist and feminist perspective to the way women and girls living in poverty are represented and shines a spotlight on women photographers who are often overlooked and under-represented.

When:  Thursday 16  September – Sunday 19 September (11am – 6pm)

Where: Gallery@Oxo , Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH

Why: As an organisation ActionAid UK is committed to moving away from traditional charity imagery that depicts people as helpless, desperate and without dignity. The Women by Women collection represents women in an authentic way, and emphasises humanity, individuality, agency, courage, and hope.   

Further information:    

Taahra, Deputy Director of Communications at ActionAid UK says, “Across the media and in the development and humanitarian aid sector, women have too often been portrayed as helpless victims who are suffering and lacking agency. Society has predominantly viewed these women through the experience and vision of photographers flown in from other countries who do not understand the local context. We launched the Women by Women campaign in 2019 to make sure that our images represent people in an authentic way, with their full consent and with the intention to never tell a single or stereotyped story about a person or a place. 

“Feminist leadership underpins everything that we do, and this includes dismantling bias in our storytelling and shifting the power of storytelling to women photographers who were born in Africa, Asia, and the Americas and who live and work there. 

“The photographers we commission immerse themselves in the lives of the individuals they are portraying, showing the realities of daily life for the women and girls so often overlooked. The exhibition is a celebration of these incredible women who are breaking down barriers and bringing change to their communities.” 

Photographer Etinosa Yvonne says, “With every image I take, I ask myself: would I like to be seen in that way? Would I like to show my mother like that? As a woman in this society you are at a disadvantage. Every single thing works against you as a woman. You have to fight. So when you have more people fighting for you, that’s how your voice is heard”

Photographer Habiba Nowrose says: “For the longest time, the history of the people of this part of the world has been told by some supposedly ‘superior’ voices from the West or somebody who is in power or somebody who does not look like us. So, the telling of stories, by the people who have experienced and lived our lives, is really important.”

Find out more information on the exhibition.

Interviews with photographers and ActionAid spokespeople available, as well as images from each collection.


For further information or interview enquiries, please contact; or if out of hours, on +44 (0) 7753 973 486.   

Notes to editors  

ActionAid UK  

ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want.  


gallery@oxo is a prestigious exhibition space located on the busy South Bank Riverside Walkway. It is part of Oxo Tower Wharf , an award-winning, landmark building situated on the riverside walkway, part of London’s fast moving South Bank and Bankside areas. It is home to some of the UK’s most innovative and internationally renowned contemporary designers, restaurants, cafes, bars and exhibition venues.