Jessie Wender in National Geographic:
In honor of International Women's Day, we asked seven National Geographic photographers to reflect on a time where being a woman played a pivotal role in documenting a particular story, whether it be in gaining privileged access to a situation or bringing a nuanced approach to a subject. From Lynsey Addario's embed with an all-female combat patrol unit to Erika Larsen's intimate portrait of a woman with a double mastectomy, these images show the power of a shared sisterhood and exemplify the necessity to see the important stories of our time through a woman's lens.
I love how being a woman can be an instant ticket to community, like when I was at a Bedouin wedding in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The scene was incredible with camel races, feasting, and dancing. When I told one of the hosts I had a present for the bride they suggested I give it to her myself. In traditional Bedouin culture, men and women who are not from the same family don’t often mix, but because I am a woman, I was allowed. They led me to a house where access was restricted to women and immediate male relatives of the bride. I made this picture while sitting next to the bride as these beautiful young girls danced in her honor. We didn’t speak the same language, but we connected.