This is Gender – 2020 Photo Contest

In advance of our 2020 Report on Gender, Intersectionality and Health, Global Health 50/50 is hosting a global photo contest to capture diverse representations of what gender – for men, women, transgender people and/or people with non-binary gender identities – looks like in their communities.

Participants are invited to submit up to two original photographs that examine gender through their own lens. We encourage photographers to share their vision of a world working toward gender equality, social justice and health for all.


Deadline for submissions: Sunday, 5 January 2020

What Is Gender?

This contest aims to generate imagery of diverse representations of gender and explore how gender norms – rigid and fluid, traditional and progressive – influence power, opportunity and wellbeing in different communities.

Gender norms affect everyone in one way or another. Yet ‘gender’ imagery is almost exclusively of women, and even these images are not always representative of the diversity of the female experience. Gender permeates all aspects of our lives, it stratifies society and defines opportunities. Gender exists as much within our mindsets as it does in what we wear and how we treat each other. It shapes the roles we play in society, the choices and rights available to us, and our health and well-being. It is a powerful force that continues to drive and shape the experiences and environments of everyone – women, men, transgender people and people with non-binary gender identities.

We encourage photographers to contribute to expanding the imagery associated with the concept of gender by exploring, for example:

  • the interaction between gender, health and wellbeing
  • the political and commercial exploitation of limited gender roles for men and women
  • how gender intersects with other aspects of identities, vulnerabilities and privileges
  • people or communities challenging rigid or unhealthy gender norms

All photographic and photojournalistic forms are welcome. Early-career photographers from underreported and/or underrepresented communities and regions are encouraged to participate.

The 2020 Global Health 50/50 Report

The winning photograph will provide the cover photo of our 2020 Report (see below).

GH5050 is an emerging leader in pushing forward conversations around gender and its interactions with health and opportunity, in organisations and more generally in public discourse. GH5050’s efforts culminate in an annual report that reviews the gender-responsiveness of approximately 200 global organisations active in health. The 2018 and 2019 reports sent waves through the global health and development sector and are already fuelling documented policy change.

The 2020 Report will present the world’s first review of the extent to which global organisations active in health are addressing overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination based on categorisations such as race, class and gender – “intersectionality.”

Our 2019 Repot was launched by President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia. Media coverage included a range of editorials published in the Financial Times, the Telegraph and Project Syndicate, with additional coverage by The BMJ, FT Health, the Guardian, IHP, Chatham House and Africa News.


First Prize:

  • GBP £500
  • Provide the cover photo to the 2020 Global Health 50/50 Report, which will be launched globally to coincide with International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020
  • Showcased at photo exhibit at the launch of the 2020 Report

Shortlisted photos:

Invited to be displayed in the 2020 Global Health 50/50 Report and showcased at report launches

Entry to the competition is free. You will retain full copyright over your own work. For winning and shortlisted images, we ask for permission to use your image in relation to the competition, our 2020 Report and to support our broader work to advance gender equality in global health.

How to submit?

Each contestant may submit no more than two images. Each photograph must be accompanied by the following three elements:

  • Short description that includes 1) a brief narrative on the significance of the image to the themes of the photo contest, and 2) a caption stating where and when the photo was taken
  • Short artist biography

You will also be asked to sign our Terms and Conditions form (submissions not including a signed Terms and Conditions form will not be considered). You must gain written permission from all people in your photos to allow them to be used by us.

Deadline: 5 January 2020

Contact us:

The Judges


Yagazie Emezi

is an artist and self-taught documentary photographer from Aba, Nigeria focused on stories surrounding African women and their health, sexuality, education and human rights. She received the 2018 Creative Bursary Award from Getty Images and has worked with Al-Jazeera, New York Times, The Guardian and National Geographic, among many others. @yagazieemezi


James Chau

is a broadcaster, writer and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. He has earned a special reputation for his interviews with world leaders in politics, science, tech, health, and culture, and currently serves as Editor-at-Large of China-US Focus and host of “The China Current with James Chau.” @JamesChau

director (1)

Sahra Mani

is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, university lecturer, and founder of Afghanistan Documentary House. Her film ‘A Thousand Girls Like Me’ about a young woman’s struggle for justice after years of sexual abuse has garnered international acclaim. @mani_sahra


Elena Fortes

is co-founder of No Ficción, which produces non-fiction content with an emphasis on social-issue driven documentaries, and of Ambulante, Mexico’s largest documentary film festival. She is an active political advocate for increased participation of young people in policymaking and on exposing human rights violations. @elenafortes