Press Release

UNFPA launches a youth photography exhibition that highlights the lives of older women in China

13 April 2023

BEIJING, China, 13 April 2023 - UNFPA China is launching a youth photography exhibition in Beijing today to promote intergenerational solidarity and active ageing.

The colourful senior life – an award winning photography series by Huang Chun at  the UNFPA China Youth Photography Competition. Credit: UNFPA China/Huang Chun
Caption: The colourful senior life – an award winning photography series by Huang Chun at
the UNFPA China Youth Photography Competition.
Photo: © UNFPA China/Huang Chun

Titled “Ripples on a pond - the power of women through their lives and stories,” the exhibition includes about 50 of the best photographs chosen from thousands of submissions to a photography competition held in 2022. Through the eyes of young people, they capture the different roles women play in their everyday lives, as well as their contribution to their families and communities.

“Women’s empowerment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and its central promise to ‘leave no one behind,’ it is paramount that we recognise the participation and contribution of women in our societies,” says Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, the UN Resident Coordinator in China.

Among the exhibition, there are images of fisherwomen working hard to make a living, widows supporting one another, self-employed women facing life with optimism, and grandmothers caring for the younger generation.

“My photographs came from a small village in Guizhou. Through daily communication with local women, especially elderly women, I learned many issues, including women’s health, intergenerational connections and rural education. I hope more people can pay attention to the development situation of women in China,” says Mr. Li Jiarun, one of the award winning photographers.

“Population ageing may come along with problems like generational conflict. We need to address it through understanding cultural diversity and promoting solidarity among different generations, as well as showing respect to others. This photography competition is a good practice for it,” comments Dr. Li Zhihong, Director-General of China National Committee on Ageing.

The exhibition represents UNFPA's innovative approach to engaging young people in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in areas connected to good health and wellbeing, gender equality, and positive ageing, and promoting social development through art.

“Young people can be a driving force for global development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. They need to realise that cooperation and dialogue with other generations are as important as their peers,” emphasised Ms. Liu Kai, Deputy Secretary-General of All-China Youth Federation.

“UNFPA is committed to working with youth and for youth, and we are happy to see the power of youth in supporting women through this photography practice. We welcome more young people to join us in addressing population ageing and promoting gender equality in China and globally,” concluded Dr. Justine Coulson, Representative of UNFPA.

Over 80 people from government, academia, civil society, the private sector, women and youth groups, media, embassies, and international organisations attended the exhibition in Beijing. The event was organised with the support of the Yanching Institute of Technology and the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation.

Note to editors

On 11 July 2022, the World Population Day, UNFPA China launched a youth photography competition: Unlocking the Power of Women. Thousands of individual and group photographs were received and the winning entries formed the basis for the exhibition.

To select the best photographs, UNFPA formed an evaluation panel consisting of professional artists and experts on ageing and gender and photography. Five photographers received the award of Best Submission for their groups of photographs.


UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. In a rapidly ageing society, UNFPA advocates for healthy ageing through a life-cycle approach, by addressing the specific needs of women and investing in each stage of life, starting from before a girl's birth to her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Population Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative