Reuters photographers speak with women in a range of professions around the world about their experiences of gender inequality.
March 8 marks International Women’s Day, with festivals, concerts and exhibitions among the numerous events planned around the world to celebrate the achievements of women in society.
The annual event has been held since the early 1900s and traditionally promotes a different theme each year, with this year’s edition calling on people to #BeBoldForChange and push for a more gender-inclusive working world.
Reuters photographers have been speaking with women in a range of professions around the world about their experiences of gender inequality.
“In general, people think being a Shinto priest is men’s profession. If you’re a woman, they think you’re a shrine maiden, or a supplementary priestess. People don’t know women Shinto priests exist, so they think we can’t perform rituals. Once, after I finished performing jiichinsai (ground-breaking ceremony), I was asked, ‘So, when is the priest coming?’,” Tomoe Ichino, 40, said. “When I first began working as a Shinto priest, because I was young and female, some people felt the blessing was different. They thought: ‘I would have preferred your grandfather.’ At first, I wore my grandfather’s light green garment because I thought it’s better to look like a man. But after a while I decided to be proud of the fact that I am a female priest and I began wearing a pink robe, like today. I thought I can be more confident if I stop thinking too much (about my gender).”
Click on the images to read the stories of these inspirational women.