Panos London presents six case studies of women who are defying stereotypes to tackle poverty and gender inequality in developing countries. Breaking Barriers: Women in a Man’s World is a showcase of exceptional women who are breaking stereotypes to change their own lives and inspire other women and girls around them.

The media pack features mothers who have become builders in Brazil, a Ugandan fisherwoman who has broken into the traditionally male fishing industry on Lake Victoria, an all female taxi service in Delhi, a woman union leader in South Africa and Afghanistan’s only female governor.


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals the world has ever agreed upon. These eight time-bound goals provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. All eight MDGs touch essential aspects of women’s well-being, and, in turn, women’s empowerment is critical for achieving the goals.

Women have multiple roles. At any given time they can be mothers, leaders, students, decision-makers, farmers, workers, voters and much more. In each of these roles, the ability to be educated and healthy, to have voice and influence, and to enjoy opportunities and choices are critical to the attainment of the Goals.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to achieving the MDGs because without these capabilities and opportunities, women are less able to reach their full potential, live a life of dignity, and be productive citizens. (Unifem)

Our showcase explores how six women are achieving the MDG targets with interviews, information and key facts.

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