Women's plight highlighted by photojournalist's exhibition

WORK by a Hull-based photojournalist showing the plight of women in Sierra Leone has been chosen to help launch an international photography festival.

42 Women of Sierra Leone, by Lee Karen Stow, will form part of "Look11", which opens at Liverpool's International Slavery Museum on Friday, March 4.

The collection of 42 colour photographs documents the daily life of women in the West African country, who have a life expectancy of just 42.

Ms Stow began the project in Hull's twin city of Freetown just before her 42nd birthday, and was struck by the disparity between the life of her subjects there and women in the West, who have a life expectancy of 83.

She said: "Despite positive steps to improve women's lives in the developing world, too many women still suffer immense hardship and despair.

"Women do not have equal access to education, economic opportunities, health facilities or social freedoms. This is not just happening in Sierra Leone, it is happening elsewhere.

"My aim for the exhibition is to show that these women, and women in similar circumstances, should be given the right to live, not die."

The display will also coincide with the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on Tuesday, March 8.