When Nayomi Thomas, one of the winners of the photography competition, stepped into the room at the Old Town Hall, she was surrounded by photographs of Sri Lankan women: women in agriculture and industry, women who plucked tea leaves and others who sewed. The exhibition marked the culmination of the World Bank’s year-long campaign to #PressForProgress for more and better jobs for women in Sri Lanka, and included a mobile exhibition where the photographs were taken around the city on tuk-tuks by the women drivers of PickMe.
“,” Nethmie Ranasinghe, another photographer, recalls. “I felt proud as a woman to see them going to any length to provide for their families.”
For Nethmie, the feeling extended to an appreciation for the 79 women who had sent in some 600 photographs for consideration of the judges. “Photography is also a field where men believe that women can’t do it properly,” she says citing common beliefs that women are unable to “tolerate the hardships” needed to get truly great pictures. “,” she said. “It’s actually inspiring.”