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Women around the world: Myanmar

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In collaboration with Eyeem, DW invited photographers to share images that offer an insight into the lives of women around the world. This one was taken in Myanmar by Bruno Guerreiro.


DW: Where did you take the picture?
Bruno Guerreiro: The picture was taken at the the Mingalar market in Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. A local market offering the usual mix of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, house hold goods and clothing. 
Do you come from or live in the country where it was taken?
I took the picture while visiting Myanmar on a two week holiday, but live in London.
Who is in the picture?
The woman in the picture is a daughter, a wife, a mother, and an entrepreneur. She’s a market merchant and owns a stall selling chicken and eggs. In this picture, you see her preparing a chicken while chatting to her fellow merchant next door.
What inspired you to take it?
I found her smile, the joy it emanated and the satisfaction it expressed, infectious. When coupled with her traditional clothing and 'thanaka' - the traditional and natural paste made from ground bark - on her face, she exuded an aura I had to capture. 
What does your image say about the culture of women in the country where it was taken?
“Women can be the breadwinner” - I found Burmese women to be strong, hardworking, confident, friendly and most importantly, happy. The woman in the picture clearly takes pride in running her own business while probably also having to manage domestic work.
How important are gender issues to you personally?
I personally feel gender equality is very important and one of the pre-requisites, along with fairness and justice - to enabling a healthy and happy society. We need to celebrate gender differences while promoting equal rights. Everyone should have access to health, education and economic development. It is disheartening to see that women, in many parts of the world, are disrespected and their contribution goes unrecognised. I feel education is key to overcoming any biases but we all need to promote gender equality.

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