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Images from 42 Women of Sierra Leone

Exhibition of a selection of images from 42 Women of Sierra Leone, by British photographer Lee Karen Stow.

The photographs pay tribute to the strength and resilience of the women of Sierra Leone, attributes that have helped this small West African State recover and grow over the last ten years.

Sierra Leone in 2007

The featured images were taken in 2007, five years after Sierra Leone emerged from a brutal civil war.

This was a time of immense hardship, with few economic opportunities and very poor access to education and healthcare, particularly for women and girls. 42 was the average life expectancy for women at the time. 

Much remains to be done, however government-led reform and international support have meant that improving the status and rights of women has risen on the agenda.

Women, such as many of those depicted here, have led this agenda in the search for a better future; as activists, working professionals, community leaders, farmers, teachers, nurses and mothers.

As the current Ebola crisis shows, what the future holds for Sierra Leone is still uncertain. However, as these images illustrate, this remains a future of hope, determination and courage.