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Celebrating Women in Animal Photojournalism

by | Mar 8, 2024

A photographer takes photos of rows of cows who live indoors 365 days a year at a dairy farm. Quebec, Canada, 2022.

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

For International Women’s Day 2024, We Animals (WA) is putting the focus on women in animal photojournalism (APJ) and celebrating the hard work of women around the globe who are leading the charge for animals with a camera in hand.

We asked what being an animal photojournalist means to them. Watch our short video to hear what they had to say.

Jo-Anne McArthur

“Women’s work is historically less noticed and celebrated but the animal advocacy movement is made up of 60 to 80 percent women. I’m really proud that we’re building an international community of photojournalists. We’re building a community of support and celebration and learning.” — Jo-Anne McArthur, We Animals Founder

The lack of gender diversity in photojournalism has been an issue since its inception and part of a wider diversity issue in photojournalism. But we’re starting to see a shift in the gender divide as more women are documenting the issues they care about.

A wonderful example of this is at We Animals itself. Not only was our photojournalism agency female-founded, our network of international photojournalists is made up of 68 percent women. Women are a driving force behind animal photojournalism!

Immediately after birth, this amniotic fluid soaked calf and its twin are sent to die for being born too weak. Mexico, 2016.

Dulce Ramírez / HIDDEN / We Animals

Sweeper at the beach in Canada. Photo credit: Cindy Hughes.

Unlucky 7. An immobilized pig awaits the administration of an infusion in a jugular catheter. Spain, 2019.

Carlota Saorsa / HIDDEN / We Animals

Selene Magnolia

“When we think of animals in the media, we usually think of wild animals, but we generally fail to realize how underrepresented the actual majority of the animals are.” — Selene Magnolia, animal photojournalist

Fishermen separate different kinds of small fish and crustaceans on a trawler. Once the main load of fish is removed from the boat, the fishermen go through the bycatch and recover catch that they can use. This will be mostly for their personal consumption or to be sold in their neighbourhoods. Kakinada Harbour, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2022. S. Chakrabarti / We Animals

A worker onboard the fishing vessel Fasilis shovels fish back into the sea. During the sorting process, unwanted fish (bycatch) are sorted into piles on the deck, where they lay suffocating until they are eventually tossed back into the water. Many do not survive. Greece, 2020.

Selene Magnolia / We Animals

S. Chakrabarti

“The stories I work on might be difficult for me personally at times and also for someone seeing those visuals. But I think it is the need of the hour to create awareness and mindset change… It is important for me to document these ignored, misunderstood and misrepresented stories, which are actually all interconnected.” — S. Chakrabarti, animal photojournalist and filmmaker

Fishermen separate different kinds of small fish and crustaceans on a trawler. Once the main load of fish is removed from the boat, the fishermen go through the bycatch and recover catch that they can use. This will be mostly for their personal consumption or to be sold in their neighbourhoods. Kakinada Harbour, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2022. S. Chakrabarti / We Animals

Fishermen separate different kinds of small fish and crustaceans on a trawler. Once the main load of fish is removed from the boat, the fishermen go through the bycatch and recover catch that they can use. This will be mostly for their personal consumption or to be sold in their neighbourhoods. Kakinada Harbour, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2022.

S. Chakrabarti / We Animals

Amy Jones

“Why do I think that women are leading this field? I think there’s probably a lot of reasons. One of them could be because we finally have role models because we see other women in this field and other women doing this work, and it encourages us to do the same.” — Amy Jones, animal photojournalist

Chickens and a duck are packed tightly inside a wire cage at a live animal market where they will soon be slaughtered for meat. This photo was documented at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam, 2020. Amy Jones / Moving Animals / We Animals.

Chickens and a duck are packed tightly inside a wire cage at a live animal market where they will soon be slaughtered for meat. This photo was documented at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam, 2020.

Amy Jones / Moving Animals / We Animals

Maxine

A frightened ram about to be killed is carried to the slaughter area of an animal breeder. This individual will be killed here while fully conscious as a ritual animal sacrifice, or “Qurban,” so their owner may observe the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday traditions. During this four-day holiday, millions of animals are slaughtered in Turkiye alone. Turkiye, 2022.

Havva Zorlu / We Animals

Feeling inspired?

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