Women in Photojournalism: Nepal

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Maggie Steber, Nepal, 2000
Women in Photojournalism
By REID GUEMMER

It’s no secret photojournalism is a field largely dominated by men. The job demands a lot but both physically and mentally from the professional, and knowingly placing workers in harm's way to capture a shot creates even more of a gender bias. Typically, companies assume a male is more fit to take on the job for this reason. In the next five blog posts I plan to highlight women in the photojournalism field and their accomplishments as well as the ways in which they broke gender stereotypes, along with the stories behind the images they’ve captured. 

During Maggie Steber's career as a photographer she has focused on capturing humanitarian and social issues. Working in over 64 countries, Steber has decades of experience in the field and her work has been published in both National Geographic and The New York Times. Reaching such a successful point in her career was nothing short of difficult. Facing multiple accounts of sexual harassment, Steber refused to succumb to the pressure of men in the field and persevered with resistance to become a highly respected artist in the field of photojournalism. In an interview Steber addressed sex related to her career saying, “Clearly I’m a woman,” she continued, “But I think of myself as a photographer who just happens to be a woman. How my gender shapes my views is important and cannot be denied, but I just feel like it’s stating the obvious and sets women up in a male-dominated business, still to this day, as ‘them and us.'"

This interview really resonated with me and is the premise for the following series of posts addressing women working in the field of photojournalism. 

Nepal has one of the highest rates of blindness. In the image above, a nearly blind man peers through a pair of broken glasses while waiting to receive cataract surgery in a newly established clinic. Steber recalls hundreds of people lining to receive the surgery that Dr. Ruit, a leading surgeon at the clinic, has perfected in two simple incisions.

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