Amira Al-Sharif, a Yemeni photojournalist, writes:
"I have been documenting Yemeni women from all walks of life for nine years. My aim has been to communicate a more honest look at my culture, particularly in regard to the dynamic changes the country has been going through in recent years.
"As Yemen is a patriarchal and conservative society, it is often difficult to showcase the spirit, personality and strength of Yemeni women. Yet the notion of a stranger photographing a woman remains a taboo. I have had to develop intimate friendships in order to gain the women’s trust and experience their individuality.
"There is happiness and pain, but so many experiences have to be kept internalized like a quiet and well-kept secret. The images explore inherent dreams and desires to achieve in spite of all the obstacles within Yemeni society.
"From young mothers and brides, daughters caring for their siblings working towards careers, and women working endless hours to provide for their families – these photos provide an opportunity for audiences to share in the lives of these women and broaden their perceptions about the strength, self-sacrifice and fortitude of women in Yemen."
All photos and captions reproduced with kind permission of Amira Al-Sharif.
Amira has also photographed Progressio's work and partners in Yemen: see her photos of unbreakable Yemeni women in the Progressio magazine.