The hazardous jobs we women work in all over the world are terribly under-reported. I see women working and putting themselves at risk all the time just to try and make a living.
The two young women above in the photo are working at Praia port, Cabo Verde West Africa. In the drone shot photo they are working with filterless second-hand masks. These young women are breathing in toxic dust & lead paint using no more then a used particle mask which does not protect them from fumes or particles when it is second hand. They have ineffective breathing apparatuses on for this type of industrial work.
The quality of life for these women who do not have the means to protect themselves at work in these environments is bleak. They often suffer respiratory illnesses, are not paid and can barely make ends meet. The young women Francesca and Nelly in the above photo are both in their twenties. It was quite clear they were suffering yesterday when I met them. I had a chance to speak with them as they could only work a few minutes at a time, I caught them at a moment they were catching a breathe of semi-fresh air.
Photo taken by Frances Lafete -Gail wearing her industrial anti tear gas mask used in Calais, France while covering “The Jungle”. On the last day the refugee camp went up in flames and she had the proper gear to do her job and the proper filters.
As you can see women work in hazardous jobs all the time as do men all over the world. Sadly it is females I see who are always unprotected in these kinds of jobs. We as females quite clearly can do this work in hazardous environments but like our male colleagues we need proper equipment and we need to be well paid to afford to gear up in hostile environments. I was not given this bio-hazard mask, it was £270.00 pounds and each filter is £15.00. pounds. Without a somewhat proper pay-check I would have had to work in compromised air, like Francesca and Nelly.
Let’s not turn a blind eye, if we work together we can make a difference, we can improve the lives of all women around the world who have to take jobs that put them at risk. Please give to the charities that support working women. Do your research, find the legitimate local charities that help support working women and there are so many good charities. I personally like Equality Now #keepwomensafe #equalpayforwomen
If you are in London or Prague contact me to see My Drone portraits of working women in hazardous jobs which will be on display in The Czech Republic and London, May/July 2019. See my website for details.