The Asia Foundation Presents Portraits of Leadership Exhibition Features Short Stories and Large-Scale Color Photographs of Pioneering Women in Asia

Launches in Washington D.C. October 17; Opens in

Washington, DC and San Francisco, October 17, 2006 — San Francisco November 6

Representing one-quarter of the world’s population, women in Asia are assuming a multitude of leadership roles and overcoming barriers such as illiteracy, poverty, violence and discrimination. Today, in recognition of the important achievements of Asian women leaders, The Asia Foundation launched Portraits of Leadership: Women Changing the Face of Asia — an exhibition of short stories and photographs of trailblazing women who have made significant contributions in Asian politics, law, business, media, education, and the arts. The exhibition is open to the public at the historic Union Station in Washington, D.C. and will travel to San Francisco’s One Market building in November.

From the first and only female Muslim lawyer in Nepal to an Emmy nominated, 19-year- old Afghan video journalist, eleven women are profiled “at work” through short narratives and large-scale color photographs, shot by a team of fine art and editorial photographers.

“Portraits of Leadership depicts some of the courageous Asian women leaders that the Foundation is proud to have supported,” said Carol Yost, director of The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program. “All of the women, regardless of their age, vocation, or nationality are united in their commitment to increasing opportunities for women.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, a related panel discussion will be held in Washington, D.C. at the Carnegie Building on October 18, featuring profiled women political leaders from Cambodia, Korea, and Thailand.

“In order to accelerate progress, our programs enable women to share lessons learned and build networks that transcend borders,” adds Yost. “We are pleased to share these remarkable stories that we hope will both educate and inspire Americans about how Asian women leaders are helping to build societies committed to equal rights for all citizens, women and men.”

Portraits of Leadership will visit Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington D.C., October 17 to October 29, 2006; The Concourse at One Market, One Market Street, San Francisco, California, November 6 to November 20, 2006. The exhibition is free to the public, and is partially funded through a donation from Chevron.


For more than half a century, The Asia Foundation has been a leader in helping women in Asia to realize their potential. The Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program develops women’s leadership, strengthens women’s organizations, increases women’s rights and ensures their personal security, and creates new political and economic opportunities for women across the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia Foundation is committed to a world where women have the means to help themselves and the voice to make a difference.

Related locations: Washington DC
Related programs: Empower Women

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