Free-to-use photography app Agora shares the final results from its latest competition, #Women2020 which gathered 10,154 photo submissions from amateur and professional photographers all over the world. Irani photographer @mohammadmoheimany won the contest with 'hijab.iran.tehran', the photo that collected the most votes in the Agora app, therefore awarding him with a $1,000 cash prize.
The best photos of #Women2020 pay tribute to women all over the world and show how the identity of a woman is not subjected to any limit, but quite the opposite.
Octavi Royo, Agora's CEO and Co-Founder
Winner: 'hijab.iran.tehran' by @mohammadmoheimany (Iran)
Location: Tehran, Iran
This photo was taken during the celebration of the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran. Every year, schools and offices are closed to celebrate. These girls were listening to the President's speech, one of them suddenly looked back and I managed to catch this moment.
@mohammadmoheimany (Iran), #Women2020 Hero
Mohammad Moheimany, #Women2020 Hero
Discover the #Women2020 finalist entries:
'Nguyet' by @nguyenvuphuoc (Vietnam)
Location: Vĩnh Phúc, Vietnam
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military released Agent Orange into Vietnam jungle to defoliate forest land, aiming at destroying place to lurk and operate of Vietnam’s guerrillas. However, its consequences have affected Vietnam seriously. An estimated 4.8 million people are infected by this chemical, hundreds of thousands of them passed away and millions of people, including their descendants, living with sequels of disease due to this toxic chemical. Nguyet is living with her parents in Vĩnh Phúc province, Hà Nội capital. She is one of many people living with these sequels. She was born without arms. Therefore, she can only do her daily activities, thanks to her legs. She dreams about owning a small house to live independently and having a peaceful life in the village. She can do housework, take care of her nephew and niece to help her family. When she has free time, she often reads books and accesses the internet to improve her knowledge.'
'Melanin angel' by @kobbykatalist (Ghana)
Location: Accra, Ghana
The idea of the image is to show the honesty and holiness of a beautiful African queen. She had no makeup on and had her natural hair. Being a woman in 2020 is actually both exciting and scary. Although the fight for equality is receiving the right support, the system of oppression is still in the shadows and requires a woman to do 200% more than a man would to get to the top. This is heartbreaking considering that women actually are the pillars of our society. What does it mean to be a woman in 2020? A woman in 2020 means being a warrior of change.
'Woman power' by @dashskala (Belarus)
I wanted to transmit how strong woman power is and reflect on the ability to get from the bottom to the top, to fight for everything even when there is no support - we are strong enough to kill even with a spoon. We already had checked out of the hotel and I asked my friend to go for one last walk before we leave the city. This scene appeared in my head and we did a beautiful photoshoot that will stay with me for a long time.
'Lady in Red' by @hapelinium (Indonesia)
Location: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
I wanted a unique and minimalist composition with my wife as my model. In 2020, women are more respected, tough and independent.
'Women' by @marcotagliarino (Italy)
Location: Inle lake, Myanmar
They were coming back home after a long day of work in the rice fields.
'Beach body' by @maky&matt (Czech Republic)
We used the shadow of a palm tree to create a spine on Maky's back. For us, this photo symbolizes the connection between nature and femininity. If we win, we would use the prize to continue traveling and creating memories through our camera. We love to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest!
@maky&matt (Czech Republic)
'Mother' by @adeelchishti (Pakistan)
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Women are precious gifts from nature whether being daughter, sister, wife or mother. They are blessings of God. Actually, this woman is my mother. Every mother has her own story of sacrifice: giving birth, raising the kids, rejecting her own desires to fulfill her children's wishes. We'll never be able to pay them back what we owe them.
'Nurse' by @drozzan (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
'Strong' by @cinemaeople (Ukraine)
I wanted to transmit women’s confidence and elegance. For me, being a woman in 2020 means to be strong and independent.
'Working Mother' by @mikenzie (USA)
Location: Cusco, Peru
'Peul' by @albertfarnos (Spain)
Location: Mopti, Mali
I took this photo in the nomadic community in northern Mali. The Peul are Sahel people who move around the region in search of fertile land for their herds.
'Unstoppable' by @herufajar (Indonesia)
Location: Sultan Agung Stadium Tennis Court, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Yanti is a tennis athlete from Bantul. Once every two weeks, there is a tennis competition for disabled athletes. I got the chance to have a closer look at how they practiced. These athletes touched my heart. They are going through such hard training. They have train harder than anyone else, but they never give up. They choose not to stop, though on wheels.
'Women have so much power' by @obeimages (Ghana)
Location: Accra, Ghana
'Natural Light' by @souff (Israel)
Location: Kings Lynn, UK
'Warriors women' by @omroms6061 (Italy)
Location: Verona, Italy
I like to photograph rugby matches in general, but the expressions of women players give me more photographic ideas.
'Care and love' by @spartanphotography254 (Ghana)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
'I used a mirror to shoot this picture' by @alexdeangelis_ (Italy)
Location: Bergamo, Italy
'My grandmother by the fire' by @huydangpham (Vietnam)
Location: Kon Tum, Vietnam
The grandma and her granddaughter are sitting by the family's fire, peeling the corn seeds.
'My Woman' by @olewol (Norway)
Location: Palliative hospital, Kristiansand, Norway
The girl in the picture was my girlfriend and the love of my life. She was diagnosed with untreatable breast cancer. She died on the 15th of December 2019 at only 32 years old. She was open in public about her illness and wanted to be an inspiration for other people with any form of cancer. She was not afraid to show her face to the world. The day I took this picture, she knew she was going to die.. but she had accepted her faith and wanted to be an inspiration even after her death. I think that it's time to give all the women in the world their time to shine...
'Sacavando apariencias' by @paulaaranoa (Argentina)
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Her name was Maria, and she was a young artisan from the market, selling crafts with her mother. She was talking to the camera in a spontaneous, cheerful and honest way. I wanted to convey the freshness and naturalness of someone who has nothing to hide and does not care about appearances. His authenticity breaks any "veil" that might be imposed on her. Mary transmitted her joy of life to those who observed the scene. Her mother, who accompanied her, looked at her proudly and smiling, even after a long day of work. For me, the woman of 2020 is a woman who wants to unfold her full potential as much as a man, but sometimes it is not so easy. Especially if she also wants to start a family.
'Women' by @apex360 (Ghana)
Location: New Bortianor, Ghana
A woman can be a mother and father at the same time, they cry in silence and fix everything.
'Red' by @emrahuygun (Turkey)
Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
I started a long term photography project in 2016 to take landscape pictures of the four seasons in the Cappadocia province. After visiting the area many times, I realized that the tourists of Cappadocia also would be an interesting photography project on tourism and portrait photography... Most of the tourists who visit Cappadocia are from China. Chinese women like to wear their traditional clothes with them to be photographed. For the equality of us all, we should respect and support each other not only as genders but as human beings for a better nature and peaceful world...
'Grace and Power' by @photolivestudio (France)
Amandine is an athlete in the world of fitness and a sports coach in her everyday life. She excels in those two disciplines and stands out for her elegance and power. Her creed: "A woman at ease in her skin is a woman at ease in her head." Before this shooting, Amandine asked me what poses she should take. I told her that this shooting not a fitness competition and that she had enough pictures that reflected her strength. I asked her to try to represent an expression: "an iron hand in a velvet glove". Then, her face fell apart, her body relaxed and she began to have delicate gestures with her hands. I love this photo because it completely embodies her personality and her values.
'Traditional circus' by @azimronnie (Bangladesh)
Location: Manikganj, Bangladesh
Bangladesh has a very long history with the traditional circus. Nowadays, a few large circus troops are performing around the country. Most of the troop members are women who have inherited their profession or women who have been performing since their childhood. Bangladesh citizens tend to go to enjoy circus at least once a year. In recent decades, this tradition has been slashed down due to globalization. I think this photo represents the power of women. Women struggle their whole life for themselves, for their family, for their children.
'Lost in the neon' by @cechnail (Russia)
Location: Moscow, Russia
My friend took part in a contest for young rap artists that night and asked me to shoot his performance. For unknown reasons, the security guard was not going to let the audience into the hall for a long time, which was very inappropriate considering the sudden beginning of drizzling rain and a strong cold wind walking through Moscow's courtyards. Everyone entertained themselves in their own way, trying to distract from the biting cold: someone was chatting with friends, someone turned on the music through Bluetooth speakers. I, in turn, decided to get a camera. Looking around for interesting plots, I quickly noticed this girl. She was the only one standing alone against a wall of neon signs. At first, I found it interesting how the light fell on her. But after taking a few shots, selecting the camera settings, I noticed in it a complete indifference to everything that is happening. She did not notice the surrounding noise, or myself and the wind beating cold drops right in her face. She seemed to be drowning in the neon light. I had a huge amount of thoughts that made her withdraw into herself in such a busy place. She left when the song playing in someone's speaker ended. I think it was the music that moved her memories so much. It makes me think which song evokes my strongest emotions. I think being a woman means having a sense of beauty and decorating the world mentally in the first place. A woman is a subtle and tender emotion, inspiration and psychological support.
'Lady in the window' by @eugenedemidov (Russia)
Location: Venice, Italy
A local resident went to the window of her apartment and accidentally got into the lens of my camera.
'Clavé un espejo en la orilla del mar, y se acercaron sirenas' by @irriguible (Spain)
Location: Ibiza, Spain
I was shooting a super 8 fashion film in Ibiza. I tricked some friends to help me carry a big & heavy mirror through the dunes. When we reach the spot we wanted, we nail the mirror on the shore. I was about to start shooting but the girls ran super excited into the mirror to take selfies. You could tell they were having real fun so I took advantage and grab my 35mm quickly and snapped some shots, including this one. I had to scare several people who were perplexed by the situation ... And obviously they started taking pictures of us. A mirror on the beach seems a simple idea at first but in person, it is extremely disconcerting and impressive. I think being a person simply in 2020 is complicated. Our capitalist system is extremely ambiguous and often contradictory. Being a woman implies even more complications since gender equality is not yet a reality. Like everything in this society, erratic movements arise, in this case, false feminism vs. real feminism, if I were a woman it would cost me sometimes to discern which is which. I think there is a lot of pressure on women but without a doubt, this decade will be theirs.
'Andrea en el Metro' by @regulogomez (Venezuela)
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
We were on our way home with my girlfriend. We got off at a subway station that wasn't even ours. I saw that beautiful image and I didn't hesitate to click.
'Colours of culture' by @r.nfodzo (Ghana)
Location: Accra, Ghana
'In the midst of darkness light persists' by @inchaseofbeauty (Russia)
Location: Tula oblast, Russia
My friend is lying on the glass roof of an abandoned swimming pool, which was built in the Soviet Union times. That day was cold and windy. We spent a lot of time shooting until the dark. I've tried several times to find the right angle from above. There were some difficulties also, like the safety of my friend and her position in the frame. She was scared to walk on translucent and somewhere broken windows, but she did it!
'Climate Change Strike in Barcelona' by @fernandoflorit (Spain)
Location: Barcelona, Spain
I was in the middle of the demonstration when I saw this group of emotional young people shouting slogans with their fists raised in the air and it reminded me of the iconic images of the May '68 student revolution in France. The new generation is taking a stand, because our survival as species is at a critical point if we do not change our behavioral paradigms and apply ourselves within sustainable models of relationship with the planet and all beings that inhabit it. To be a woman in 2020 means a commitment not only to claim the rights of the female gender for so many centuries of patriarchal society. Recalling for everyone to be a part of this movement to claim for equality regardless of their gender.
'Girl and pink lake' by @artempikalov (Russia)
Location: Sasyk Sivash, Republic of Crimea, Russia
Initially, I just wanted to photograph a pink lake from above, to convey its unusual color. During the flight, I was looking for interesting angles and drew attention to the girl in a pink dress, who was walking along the destroyed bridge. I made a series of shots when she admired the lake at sunset. When I look at this photo, I remember that warm September sunset on a pink lake. To me, being a woman in 2020 means being who you are, without any boundaries. It means looking like you want, do what you want, be free in everything.
'It brings so much happiness to see women in laughter' by @jovanneamolat (Philippines)
The subjects are my friends who are working in Singapore as OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). Every Sunday, we get together. We bond and spend time with each other. This photo was taken we decided to do a fun shoot. The objective was to showcase happiness through a positive and joyful picture. A woman in 2020 is driven yet happy. Strong yet caring. Empowered but has a positive outlook in life. A woman will always bring joy.
'Portrait of Lorca' by @peymannaderi (Iran)
Location: Tehran, Iran
I took this shot in my Tehran studio back in 2019. I wanted to tell the story of a girl who lived through a period of history but was never seen, and though she was very artistic, she always hid from others until one day, her identity was revealed. She was still trying to keep her identity a secret until she was satisfied to register herself in history. This girl's name is Lorca, and I have been trying to portray her face with the story she has in my mind so that the whole world can be moved by her story.
'Flower lover' by @swetun (Myanmar)
'Tatiana' by @tinozavrus (Russia)
It was a warm autumn evening with my friends on the bank of the river. We tried different colors of stoles, but red was the best one. For me, being a woman in 2020 means being strong and proud.
'The women go to festivals' by @duysinh (Vietnam)
Location: Quảng Ngãi, Vietnam
Bamboo bridge and Ao Dai are the long-standing cultural values of Vietnam. The women wearing Ao Dai in the photos are all older. They were crossing the bamboo bridge and I accidentally caught them while hunting the sunset with my drone. Women in 2020 are more respected for their contributions to life. They know how to be nicer and respectable in this new age.
'Maternity' by @whittington (USA)
Location: Indiana, USA
To be a woman in 2020 is to be empowered. It is about creating a new life and being nurturing while also killing the corporate world. To be a woman in 2020 it to be an all-around badass!
'My grandmother' by @handetokmak (Turkey)
Location: Yeşilburç Village, Niğde City, Turkey
My grandmother put the stove on just before sitting next to me. She recently lost her brother. When I came to visit her, she shared her sadness with me. There was a drawing on the table behind her. That painting is my father whom we lost 21 years ago.
'Quintessential ‘Ao Dai’' by @diepvan (Vietnam)
Location: Hue, Vietnam
The elegance & charm of this traditional dress is the key to this photo story. The 'Áo dài' is still popularly worn by the female school students in centre & south of Vietnam. Not like in northern Vietnam, where it is worn for special events only.
'Standing Tall' by @peacefecklove (France)
Location: Lille, France
I wanted to convey confidence. The idea of taking the photo from a low angle is not something we are often subjected to when women are photographed. This creates a sensation of strength and dominance usually attributed to males. The buildings echo this sentiment of dominance and modernity. I think it's a confusing time to be a woman today. In one hand, women have more rights than they probably have ever had since the advent of 'civilized' societies, yet on the other, the foundations of these very societies often contradict these rights. I often feel it would be better to start everything anew, with fairer foundations than to try to change an already corrupt system, as the core will be hard to shift. Hopefully, there will be a time when this confusion, for both genders, will dissipate. Until then, it is important to maintain the focus on narrowing the gap between men and women rather than making the rift deeper.
'Sisters' by @ainurcy (Kazakhstan)
Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan
Two Kazakh sisters, Asiya (on the left) and Mariya (on the right). The idea was to capture the natural woman's beauty and the leaves helped to set the mood. For me, being a woman in 2020 is being strong, fearless and empowering.
'Yael Cohen (aka Lola Marsh) singing her heart out' by @Molotov0815 (Germany)
Location: Slow Down Festival, Nuremberg, Germany
I tried to capture the intense emotions the singer puts in the performance of her songs. Every song comes straight from her heart. At the beginning of the concert, the crowd was sitting around and having a beer. After the singer told them to "get the fuck up" everybody got up and started dancing to her music. To me, being a woman in 2020 still means that you always have to be the best you could be, because women get judged harder for their accomplishments than men. Equal rights didn't come as far as they should be in 2020.
'Wisdom Highlights' by @eighthman (Ghana)
Location: Labone, Accra, Ghana
Every gray hair, which I'll prefer to call wisdom Highlights tells a story. But in this photo, all I see is a story of pure divine natural beauty with a crown of wisdom-highlights, reflecting a soft light that looks like that of the moon. And that's what gives her beauty an edge.
'The rehearsal' by @velyn_e (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
I tried to capture the gracefulness of the ballerina movement. Being a woman means you have the opportunity to do so many roles. That’s why we need to utilize the other two B’s of the Brain, Beauty, and Behaviour. Brain and Behaviour are super important!
'Best friends' by @markellos (Greece)
Location: Athens region, Greece
It's a real story, two women in love. I was just catching the moment.
'👩🏻💼' by @panvelvet (Russia)
Location: Lujiazui, Shanghai, China
To be honest there was no any shoot planned that night, just were in the area and decided take a photo after I saw that composition in my head. Surprisingly, I shot this without tripod, I just put camera on the bag and bag was on the ground.
'Stretching' by @tamas_schober (Hungary)
Location: Budapest, Hungary
This photo was shot as a piece of a photo series, of which purpose was to popularize stretching as a part of a healthy lifestyle. It was taken in Budapest City underground metro station at approx. 11.p.m. on a week-day to give ourselves the chance for a 2 second period when no one walks by and we can take this photo we had in mind...
'Women' by @yaminphotographer (Maldives)
PR & Content Manager at Agora