About Us

About Us

Mission and goals

« Elevate women’s vision to achieve worldwide gender equality »

International Women in Photo, IWPA, is a French non profit association that pursues two major MISSIONS on a global scale:

  • work for equality through photography in the world.
  • The promotion of women photographers and visual storytellers of all origins and nationalities.

The roots for IWPA’s goals lie in the under representation of women photographers. Unfortunately, women photographers still do not receive sufficient recognition nor assignments and only make up for a small percentage of all the photographs we see every day in the press, social media, museums or art fairs. IWPA fulfills a social role by drawing attention to social issues that are often ignored or simply not covered by the male dominated perspective of our world.

How do we fulfill these missions? We want to make women’s vision count by

  • Increasing the visibility and diversity of women photographers in the field of photography
  • Proposing actions around education and training in photography for women and students, enhancing their skills and reinforcing capacity buildin
  • Promote photography as an empowerment tool for girls and women
  • Using  photography as a tool to promote tolerant and non-sexist values

In order to give more visibility to women photographers, IWPA acts as a platform and organizes the annual IWPA Award, a photography competition that is followed by exhibitions in major cities and capitals across the Middle East, Asia and Europe showing the work of the laureate and finalists to a large and international audience. 

« Images have a strong impact on society; shape attitudes and behaviors on all kind of social norms, notably on women’s roles and expectations. »

SDGS – Our commitment

Set up in 2003, International Women in Photography’s mission is closely linked to the 5th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG); gender equality. IWPA contributes to this goal by leveraging the power of image to present a balanced world view, and by fighting the gender stereotypes conveyed in photo We also fulfill SDG 4, 8, 17. We fight for women empowerment, aiming to end discrimination and harmful practices that women suffer and to ensure their full and effective participation in society.


IWPA community gathers women photographers and those who identify as women from all continents and is inclusive of a plurality of voices. Our community includes more than 4000 photographers. If you need to connect with photographers from a specific location or on a special theme, please, reach out to us at contact@iwpa.fr.

A little bit of HISTORY


© Severine Blanchet

Four women photographers set up the International Women Photographers Association in Malaysia in 2001: Severine Blanchet (France) Chris Tan (China) Nirmala Karupia, (India) , Soraya Ismail, (Malaysia), realizing that sorority and support between women would help them thrive. This group of women photographers initiated the first festival edition of IWPA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia back in 2001.

In 2011, the association headquarters moved to France and is headed by Arantza Aramburu-Hamel and Laure Parise since 2016.