“We must empower women at all levels, enabling their voices to be heard and giving them control over their own lives and over the future of our world.“
– United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
One person in every 70 is caught up in a humanitarian crisis right now. These crises can be caused by conflict or natural disasters but around the world, more than 140 million people need humanitarian assistance just to survive. Among the most affected are women and girls.
In conflict settings, proliferation of arms, mass movements of populations and the collapse of the rule of law trigger patterns of sexual violence against women and girls that include rape, sexual slavery, trafficking, forced and early marriage, and intimate partner violence.
In situations of conflict and displacement, girls are often kept away from school for their safety. They are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys. During droughts, girls are more likely to miss school, as they are needed to collect water and care for the family. It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 women refugees has experienced sexual violence. In crisis settings, pregnant women are particularly at risk because they cannot access critical health care.
This harsh reality for women and girls rarely makes headlines. And this exhibit documents what we hear about even less: the hopes and dreams of the girls who are trapped in crises.
All aged between 6 and 18 years old, the girls featured here have dressed up to show us who they want to be when they grow up, using costumes and props from their immediate surroundings. By tapping into each girl’s vision for the future, photographer Vincent Tremeau gives us a unique glimpse into their current circumstances and challenges.
Combining an artistic approach with a documentary purpose, the images highlight the crucial role of education for girls in humanitarian crises, for securing their safety and future opportunities. They are a testimony to the vulnerability, resilience and creativity of today’s youth and how they can shape the future.