Across the world, and in every country where MAG works, women play a critical role in helping their communities recover and rebuild following the devastation wrought by war.

They are peacebuilders, decision-makers, wage-earners and care-givers.

And often they play these roles having suffered in unique and terrible ways because of the conflict and armed violence that has gone before.

In 2024, MAG will be highlighting the role that women play in our mission to save lives, ease suffering and enable sustainable development so people can live with dignity and choice, free from fear.

We are doing this because the role that women can and do play is too often unacknowledged or under-recognised.

Women bring unique perspectives, vital insight, expertise and experience to post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding. Today, as conflict and insecurity affect millions of people worldwide, the leadership of women, no matter what their role, has never been more important.

Five renowned women photographers, from South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, are collaborating with MAG to document the experience of our female staff and the role of women in rebuilding communities after conflict.

Together, we will bring you stories of female leadership, resilience, skill and courage. 

These are the stories of the women of MAG, women working for peace.

You can read about some of our women leaders below. And you can also find out more below about the photographers collaborating with us in the coming months.

Join our journey this year as we celebrate the women working for peace.

"Throughout my career, I have been repeatedly asked why women's stories and photography around them are necessary. It is a frustrating question to keep receiving as it is quite obvious to me, but maybe the repetition reflects the necessity of this work. Be it stories around everyday living, or conflict, joy, struggles and triumphs, the visibility and amplification of women and the reality of their lives have and should always matter. We shape the world."

- Yagazie Emezi, Photographer

Meet the photographers

Julia Kochetova

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Photojournalist & Documentary Filmmaker

Julia Kochetova is a Ukrainian photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. 

She is currently in Ukraine, reporting on the war and its' devastating effect on communities.

She studied journalism at Taras Shevchenko National University and Mohyla School of Journalism, and has covered the Maidan revolution, the annexation of Crimea, and the Russia-Ukraine war since 2014. 

Her work has been exhibited in the UK, USA, France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Portugal and all over Ukraine, and her reporting has been featured on Vice News, Der Spiegel, Zeit, Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, FP, Reuters and NBC. 

Her work is focused on the issues of the war generation, post-traumatic stress disorder and feminism.

Maryam Ashrafi

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Social Documentary Photographer

Maryam Ashrafi, a Paris-based Iranian photographer, was born in Tehran amidst the Iran-Iraq war. Driven by a profound interest in sociology, she channels her focus into exploring social and socio-political issues. Having graduated with a BA in social documentary photography from the University of Wales Newport in England, she has covered various demonstrations and social issues in Europe while concentrating on her long-term project documenting the consequences of wars in Northern Syria and the autonomous Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq between 2012 and 2018. Her work, which captures the lives of fighters behind the frontlines and civilians as they return to newly liberated cities, has been compiled in her book, "Rising among Ruins, Dancing amid Bullets." Published by Hemeria, a French publisher, in September 2021, it won the PrixHip in the Reportage & History category in 2021 and the Best Book award in the Traditional category from the Lucie Photo Book prize in 2022. Her experience and understanding of the region, along with her encounter with the death of someone a few meters away from her by an IED, has led her to create her inaugural documentary film, "Eternal Sentinel", exploring the impact of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmine explosions on journalists covering the wars in Northern Syria and Iraq. The film premiered in April 2022 and was selected for official competition at the Figra Festival, PriMed Festival in France and the Warm Festival in Sarajevo. Furthermore, it has been screened at Stanford University in the USA and the Frontline Club in London. This experience and her commitment to conflict resolution have led her to embark on her next long-term project on landmines in 12 countries worldwide.

Sane Seven

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Portrait Photographer

Sane Seven, a visionary female portrait photographer celebrated for her ability to capture the subtleties and complexities of the female experience. Her work gives a closer look at the amazing women who shape our world, going beyond just beautiful photography to capturing moments that feel personal and real.

Sane’s portfolio, rich with intimate portraits of public figures, celebrities, and influential women, shows her unique skill to get to the heart of who someone is, sharing stories of strength, challenge, and the unique experiences of women with both warmth and honesty. Her work serves as a powerful advocate for gender equality, cementing her status as a true force in the field of photography today.

Sophal Neak

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Sophal Neak is a Cambodia photographer who has developed her distinctive practice through performatively composed portraitures, commonly staged in collaboration with her subjects. Her works often illuminate the ongoing struggles and voices of those who can face marginalisation in Cambodian society, including women, rural communities, immigrants, and communities at risk. Playing with the politics of identities and aesthetics, and informed by conceptual and political motivations, her subjects may or may not have their identities revealed. Sophal’s works often challenge social structures, highlighting the hidden memories and fear that animate people’s lives.

Yagazie Emezi

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Visual Artist & Photojournalist

Yagazie Emezi is a Nigerian artist and self-taught photojournalist focused on stories surrounding African women and their health, sexuality, education and human rights. Having worked extensively across Africa, Yagazie also covers stories on identity and culture, social justice, climate change and migration. 

Her art practice uses photography and sculpture to construct visual critiques of Nigeria's socio-political state and the roles media play in it, pulling from history and current events. 

"Highlighting women's experiences and perspectives on conflict through photography serves multiple crucial purposes. Not only does it amplify their struggles and resilience, showcasing their power amidst challenges, but it also documents history. Seeing women from different countries living with the consequences of war somehow brings us closer to them, bridging the gap between 'us' and 'them'. 

Showing women around the world that they are not alone in their experiences, but rather are connected with others facing similar situations, reinforces a sense of solidarity and collective strength amidst adversity."

- Maryam Photographer

Meet some of MAG's staff working to advance gender equity


Anne Akello is MAG's Gender and Inclusion Advisor, responsible for promoting equality and inclusion across our teams. 

"I am proud to champion the cause of gender equity and meaningful inclusion. I provide colleagues and peers with guidance on how to integrate gender considerations into all aspects of MAG's work and to enhance the inclusion of women’s agency and influence in conflict-affected communities. 

We are making significant progress in promoting gender and inclusion practices both regionally and locally. We have seen an increase in our influence in shaping policies supporting gender equity, for example feeding into UN action plans on gender and diversity. This increase in influence is further demonstrated by the growing interest of local partners and donors in learning more about MAG's approaches to promoting gender and inclusion practices." 

"MAG's mission to amplify the voices of women deminers globally deeply resonates with me, particularly the focus on celebrating them as individuals first and foremost. Their stories, though marked by conflict, are presented through a lens of strength and resilience. This initiative powerfully challenges stereotypes and builds connections among women from diverse cultures."

- Sane Seven, Photographer


Najat El Hamri is our Regional Director for the Middle East, and brings over 20 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sector. She oversees our work in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and is supporting teams to ensure gender mainstreaming is integrated into their national plans and part of all project proposals.  

"We are cultivating a collaborative learning environment by facilitating the exchange of expertise among our programmes in relation to gender equity and the inclusion of vulnerable groups. We have launched training sessions and workshops to address challenges and celebrate achievements." 

"In MAG's programmes in the Middle East, we are fostering connections with local organisations whose work is relevant to gender equity and diversity. We also encourage the exchange of knowledge between national authorities on topics relevant to gender equity. In the past MAG staff have delivered training on gender to national authorities, to support them to reflect on these important issues within their own teams."


Ria is our Director of Finance, one of our female leaders who oversees MAG's budget and ensures the organisation’s financial health and long-term sustainability.

She joined MAG in 2018 from a practice background where she specialised in the not-for-profit sector. With over a decade of experience she brings a wealth of skills at an operational and advisory level. In addition to her leadership of MAG’s Finance team, Ria plays a leading role in the organisation’s treasury management and global tax compliance work.


Delia Maphosa is MAG's Diversity and Inclusion Manager.

"Achieving gender equity requires more than just women fighting for it. In my role, I lead in formulating and executing strategies, programs, and initiatives designed to cultivate an environment where every employee feels cherished, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences. My work is not only a bridge between the different levels of the organisation but also acts as a driving force behind the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organisation. 

As the Diversity and Inclusion Manager I help foster transformation in our organizational culture by conducting awareness-raising and training for staff and supporting managers and leaders to foster an inclusive and identity-sensitive culture and lead by example. I collaborate with the Gender Advisor to conduct trainings and workshops for staff and, when relevant, of partners to ensure the workplace is gender-sensitive, inclusive, and equitable and that women are supported adequately to take up more technical leadership roles. I am honoured to be part of an organisation that seeks to amplify the voices of women and to be part of the organisational shift towards building a more inclusive and equitable MAG." 

"Women hold diverse perspectives on war. They were not the combatants but rather the victims and healers in the aftermath."

- Sophal Neak, Photographer

Cover photo by Maryam Ashrafi.