In honor of International Women’s Day, here are 10 women photographers and organizations that use their art to raise awareness and make a difference where they can.

The theme for 2022’s International Womens’ Day is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” These women photographers are using their photography to help raise awareness about global warming and women’s rights issues all over the world.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Tina Freeman

Womens Day
Sea Ice Svalbard & Louisiana Wetlands ©Tina Freeman

Tina’s seven-year-long project, “Lamentations,” focuses on the Louisiana wetlands and the Arctic and Antarctic glaciers. She pairs images from each place that show stories of climate change, ecological balance. They show the connection between things across time and space.

Each diptych on view in “Lamentations” is chosen for the ways in which the photographs relate to one another aesthetically and practically. These images show the rising waters along the coast of Louisiana are visually and physically connected to the melting glaciers at the poles. Freeman’s large, color photographs make plain the crucial, threatening and global dialogue between water in two physical states.

Anastasia Samoylova

Anastasia’s work explores the notions of environmentalism, consumerism and the beauty that lies within. Her project “Floodzone” is documentation of the rising sea levels in her home state of Florida, the Miami area in particular.

“Through daily walks, I began to realize how the city’s seductive tropical palette and quality of light concealed the growing dissonance between its booming real estate market and the ocean’s encroachment on its shoreline,” she says. “Ocean views are prized in the real estate world, with little regard for building projects’ locations in high-risk flood zones. Investors seem to turn a blind eye to the reality that Miami is steadily slipping underwater.”

Esther Horvath

International Women's Day
Team BGC science hand over between Leg 1 and Leg 2. Scientific teams conduct scientific handovers. BGC Leg 2 team member Adela Dumitrascu and Partic Simoes Pereira (l)) cores at BGC coring site on MOSAiC oce floe as a part of the scientific handover. Dec. 15, 2019. ©Esther Horvath

Esther has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, particularly the Arctic Ocean. She documents scientific expeditions and the stories behind the scenes of the work that is done.

“By documenting the work and life of scientists who deliver important data, I hope to help make a difference in how people understand what actually is occurring, and in collaboration with scientists, help raise public awareness regarding these fragile environments.”

Lisa Murray

Lisa’s projects mainly focus on people and the environment. She has worked on a project for World Vision to document and share human interest stories. These stories show the impact of their work in Burundi to help with water access and clean water. With the UN Environment Program, she uses her photography to show how local and global collaboration can achieve land degradation neutrality.

Women Photographers of Australia

This is a collaborative group that created a visual response to the Australian government’s climate change policies. They crowdsourced 1,000 images from Australian women and nonbinary photographers.

They state on their site: “The Petition will advance contemporary feminist discourse through photography and activism. It will shine a light on colonial and patriarchal power structures that have been influential in the climate crisis we face.”

Polly Irungu

Women's Day

Polly is a multimedia journalist and founder of Black Women Photographers. The organization is a global community and directory of over 1,000 Black women and nonbinary photographers. She is a self-taught photographer and works to help support and spotlight Black women photographers. You can read more about her and the organization in this interview on NPR. Polly also is a contributor to the Adobe blog.

Cristina Mittermeier

This quote by Cristina on her website sums up her work quite perfectly:

“Images can help us understand the urgency many photographers feel to protect wild places. My work is about building a greater awareness of the responsibility of what it means to be human. It is about understanding that the history of every living thing that has ever existed on this planet also lives within us. It is about the ethical imperative — the urgent reminder that we are linked to all other species on this planet and that we have a duty to act as the keepers of our fellow life-forms.”

Koral Carballo

Koral uses her photography to tell the stories of identity, violence, migration and territory, history and anti-patriarchal narrative. She founded a group of Veracruz photojournalists in 2014 and also collaborates with the Ruda Collective. The Ruda Collective is a collective of Latin American women photographers and communicators. They work as a network to generate stories and content on issues that affect the Latin American region.

Ami Vitale

International Women's Day
©Guido van Nispen via Wikimedia Commons

Ami is a National Geographic photographer, writer and filmmaker. Her list of accomplishments is long and impressive. She has covered violence and conflict, wildlife and environmental stories. You will recognize the image she created of the release of one of the world’s last northern white rhinos. Ami is also a founding member of Ripple Effect Images. This is an organization of female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working to create stories that show what women in developing countries face.

Melisa Bunni Elian

Bunni, as she is known, is a multimedia journalist and Fujifilm ambassador. Her work on the Lynching in America project was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum. She focuses on stories from the African Diaspora, social justice and issues of structural inequity. In 2017 Bunni was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. She used this grant to travel to South Africa to document the evolution of Afropunk from a music festival into a social/political movement of acceptance, self-love and resistance.

You can find out more about International Women’s Day at the UN Women website.