Photography for Peace and Gender Equality


It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words, but what does this mean within the context of a peacebuilding and how is it related to empowerment of women?

Exhibition on peace and gender equality; Photo: UN Women
Exploring the relationship between photography, peacebuilding and women’s leadership, UN Women in partnership with a local NGO Coalition for IDPs Rights hosted a joint exhibition of Abkhaz, Georgian and South Ossetian artists showcasing the role and contribution of women in rebuilding post-conflict communities.

The exhibition entitled “Photography for Peace and Gender Equality” was held on December 12, 2016 at Gallery “Container”, Tbilisi, featuring photo-essays developed by Abkhaz, Georgian and South Ossetian photographers and journalists. The exhibition presented stories of women from Abkhaz, Georgian and South Ossetian communities capturing their daily lives, courage and resilience.

Elene is a Georgian mother of two and a primary caregiver to her two daughters with special needs. Natela is South Ossetian women married to a Georgian who is internally displaced from a village now under South Ossetian / Russian control. Tskhinvali-native Zarina raises three children and is juggling between her role of a mother and a local activist. While all stories are different, what all of the artists attempt to show us are strong, resilient women contributing as equal partners and leaders in rebuilding their communities torn by war and conflict not so long ago.

“The exhibition is unique in a sense that it brought together people from conflict-torn communities to work on a joint project. Highlighting relationships between peacebuilding, women’s leadership and photography as a storytelling tool, the initiative proved once again, that regardless of many obstacles from check points to geo-politics, there is space and willingness in our communities for empathy, understanding and collaboration,” – said GuramTsibakhashvili, a renowned Georgian artist who partnered with UN Women on organizing the exhibition.

The exhibition was attended by artists and civil society representatives working in the area of peace building and gender equality. Within the framework of the event, UN Women awarded project participants with certificates of appreciation in recognition of their efforts in promoting people-to-people diplomacy.

The exhibition was held as a part of UN Women’s continuous efforts to promote women as important actors in building peaceful and violence-free societies. It constituted final outcome of UN Women initiative which brought together Abkhaz, Georgian and South Ossetian photographers and journalists in Yerevan, Armenia in October, 2016 on a joint workshop to discuss the role of women in reconstructing post-conflict communities and contributing to sustainable peace.