inside thoughts on China and beyond

Portfolio – Women at Work

After 10 years in China, I have come to the conclusion that a major part of China’s economy is carried by her women. It are mostly women that you will see working: as farmer, as waitress, as sweeper, as cleaner, as road worker, as factory worker, as sales assistant, as office worker and as boss of small family businesses.

And although I understand Confucius when he says: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”; I don’t think many of these women really have a choice. In honor of the ever so hard working women in China , the series on “Work and Rest in China” will start with “Women at Work”. Truly, if it wasn’t for the women, where would China be?

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Dong women walking to the fields in the early morning, Guizhou, China.

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“Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.”  ~Author unknown

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Han woman brings her pig to the market in early morning, Yunnan, China.

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Miao woman bringing manure to the fields high up the mountain, Guizhou, China.

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“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”  – Aristotle

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Miao woman tending her rice paddy, Guizhou, China.

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Miao woman carrying young rice plants to the field, Guizhou, China.

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Tajik women working in the shade, Xinjiang, China.

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Uygur woman selling fruit, Xinjiang, China.

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Dong women selling veg, Guizhou, China.

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A Han woman is cooking while the Bai woman carrying debris out, Yunnan, China.

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“Work without love is slavery.”  – Mother Teresa

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Han woman dishing up rice for her guests, Sichuan, China.

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A Bai woman mending the fishing nets, Yunnan, China.

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“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition. ”  – Indira Gandhi

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Women transporting goods along the Tea Horse Trail, Yunnan, China.

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Qiang woman carrying wood, Sichuan, China.

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Dong girl working the village rice mill, Guizhou, China.

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Han woman working in a dark room, Sichuan, China.

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Dong woman designing new clothes patterns, Guizhou, China.

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Han woman in her shop with her granddaughter doing homework, Sichuan, China.

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Miao women planting rice while carrying her child, Guizhou, China.

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Hui women waiting to sell her snacks, while keeping an eye on her baby, Sichuan, China.

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Yao girl mending clothes while her baby sleeps, Guizhou, China.

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Han woman selling fireworks during Chinese New Year, Sichuan, China.

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Yao women weaving new cloth, Guizhou, China.

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Han women sweeping the early morning after Chinese new year, Sichuan, China

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“If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Old Han woman collecting paper and plastics to survive, Sichuan, China.

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Old Dong women working in a dark street on a traditional dress, Guizhou, China.

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Dong woman hands at work… until the end.

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To end with Mahatma Gandhi:

“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”

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More photo impressions on this topic can be viewed on my photo site.

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9 responses

  1. Fantastic series….Great shots…Hats off!
    Regards Susanne

    October 20, 2012 at 6:28 am

    • Excellent post. I love your photography, and the quotes were very powerful.

      Matt

      October 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  2. What hard lives these women have. Thank you for documenting them and sharing your photos.

    Hilary

    October 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm

  3. free penny press

    This is a stunning photographic expose.. well done!!

    October 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

  4. This is a truly wonderful collection that shows quite a diversity of work – hard labor, artistry, etc. Around the world, it is often the women who are in the fields, carrying water, laboring over a fire. . . And the women selling veggies at the market could be anywhere in the world. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your freshly pressed.

    November 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

  5. 王伟

    great ^^

    November 28, 2012 at 1:04 am

  6. Brilliant. Thank you.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:39 am

  7. Stunning!

    November 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

  8. This is really wonderful photography. And I love the topic.

    November 29, 2012 at 8:34 am

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