10 Photos That Prove There’s No Such Thing as a Man’s Job

From construction to technology, women and girls are changing the world around them, one job at a time

Abby Sugrue
U.S. Agency for International Development
4 min readMar 31, 2016


For our last FrontLines photo contest, we asked USAID staff and partners worldwide one question: “What do empowered women and girls look like?”

Submissions from 30 countries poured in showing how women and girls are breaking down barriers, challenging social norms, and working in more fields than ever before.

Construction Workers

Photo by Milagros DC Hartinger

Female construction workers onsite at a sawmill in Peru. These women received technical training from USAID’s Peru Bosques program to improve forest management practices.


Photo by Jessica Nabongo

An Ethiopian woman holds up her official land right certificate. With USAID support, the government of Ethiopia issued land rights certificates to several thousand people. Women with secure land rights are more likely to invest in their children’s health and education.


Photo by Ermek Djumataev

Nurmatova Abiba sits in her strawberry garden. She attended a training organized by USAID that supports farmers in Kyrgyzstan. Abiba’s hard work paid off when her strawberry crop brought in needed income. Next, Abiba plans to be a supplier for a local jam factory.


Photo by Mamuka Kakauridze

Ia Urushadze inspects her bees, which she uses to produce and sell honey and other hive products in Georgia. USAID established a local laboratory that helps meet modern food safety standards and serves as a training center for local beekeepers.


Photo by Albatool Ali

“You will just get married and stay home” is a phrase that Leema hears a lot as an engineering student at the University of Jordan. But she doesn’t let it slow her down. Here she is at the launch of Girls in Tech Jordan. The chapter, supported by USAID, encourages young women to pursue technological and entrepreneurial pursuits.


Photo by Alexandru Penciu

Dana, a Romanian wheelchair athlete, competes in an archery contest in Bucharest. She later became Romania’s female national champion in wheelchair archery, and even started a wheelchair archery project supported by USAID.


Photo by Alan Motus

Civil engineers in the Philippines consult a blueprint of a climate-resilient school that will benefit 2,000 students after Typhoon Haiyan struck the area. With USAID support, 13 female engineers and architects work alongside their male colleagues to help disaster-affected communities build back stronger.

Bike Commuters

Photo by Mahmood Hussain Mehedi

Girls in rural Bangladesh ride their bikes to school, but this was not always a common practice. USAID partner Women and Girls Lead Global encouraged schools to become safer and more girl­ friendly by teaching their female students to ride bikes.

Pest Managers

Photo by Daniel Bailey

A Guatemalan woman shows off insects she collected in the field as part of a USAID-funded pest management project. Through this training, she learned how to catch, preserve and identify pests.

Social Workers

Photo by Mariana Kurniawati

When Sri was 23 years old, an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. She was house-bound for 10 years until she got a wheelchair and a modified motorcycle. Now a social worker with Wheels for Humanity, an organization supported by USAID and World Learning, Sri makes an annual pilgrimage across Indonesia to raise awareness about equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

About the Author

Abby Sugrue is a senior communications specialist in USAID’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Follow her @abbysugrue.