Jonathan Torgovnik

When searching for stock photos of women at work, one typically finds pages of ladies in business suits, sitting behind desks. Less common are photos of women in developing nations cleaning homes, collecting waste, sewing fabric, or selling goods in local markets. Yet for millions of women across the globe, these too-often "invisible" jobs empower them and enable them to provide for their families and communities.

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A new collection of photos aims to better showcase these workers. The inspiring series from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Getty Images Reportage, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WEIGO) highlight women from six different countries engaging in work that "is often informal and outside state regulations or protections," according to a statement, yet crucial to their well-being.

“Most people are surprised to learn that informal employment is more than half of non-agricultural employment in most developing regions," Rhonda Douglas, the global projects director for WIEGO, said in the statement. "Informal is the new normal, and these photos highlight the immense contributions of informal workers as they go about their daily lives. The dignity of individual workers shines through in every photo.”

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The photos, which are available for public use, come from India, Ghana, Thailand, South Africa, Peru, and Colombia. We've selected some of our favorites, but the entire collection is visually arresting and educational.

India

These two women work at a factory that makes modular roofs for slum houses. According to Getty, the women enjoy the supportive work environment of the factory, which collaborates with a local trade union to train the women and ensure steady daily incomes.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage
This mother and daughter spend hours every day on the floor of their small home, Getty reports, hand rolling Indian-style cigarettes called "bidi." The same trade union that protects the factory workers above ensures they have bargaining power and visibility.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage
Every evening, this woman sells jewelry at a local market, allowing her to earn a small income to support her family.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage

Ghana

This market vendor has been trading tomatoes for 34 years, according to Getty.
Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage
This head porter, or "kayayei," is earning money to start a cloth vending business.
Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage
This woman sells school uniform fabric at a local market, where she is a longtime vendor.
Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage

Thailand

These women work in a small factory producing bronze silverware, a traditional Thai craft.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage
This woman works at a small garment factory on the outskirts of Bangkok with 15 other workers, Getty reports.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Rep
This woman sells her homemade clothing at a local market.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Rep

South Africa

Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage
Jonathan Torgovnik
All three women pictured above work as domestic workers.
Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage

Peru

Juan Arredondo/ Reportage by Getty Images Reportage
Juan Arredondo/Getty Images Reportage
All three women pictured above work as food vendors. They are all members of a network of self-employed workers, Getty reports—one of several organizations of informal workers in Lima that works closely with WIEGO.
Juan Arredondo/Getty Images Reportage

Colombia

Juan Arredondo/Getty Images Reportage
Juan Arredondo/Getty Images Reportage
All three women pictured above are recyclers and waste pickers in Bogota.
Juan Arredondo/Getty Images Reportage

Marisa Kabas is a Sex + Life reporter based in New York City. She loves baseball, bunnies and bagels.