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200 Women is a book and exhibition inspired by a belief that you can’t empower women without listening to their stories. Our subsequent idea was to persuade two hundred women in different parts of the world - whether they be rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, famous or unknown - to sit or stand in front of a plain sheet of fabric and to be photographed and filmed while answering five fundamental questions.
Our goal was not to make a book about just successful and powerful women; those stories are important, but we wanted diversity, and above all, authenticity. Two hundred 'real women', with 'real stories'.
Ruchira Gupta was born in Kolkata, India. A former journalist, Gupta directed and produced the Emmy Award–winning 1997 documentary The Selling of Innocents, which investigated India's sex-trafficking industry. In 2002, Gupta co-founded Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an organisation working to empower girls and women to resist and end sex trafficking. She has received numerous awards for her activism, including being made a Knight of France's National Order of Merit and being awarded the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Commitment to Leadership in Civil Society. She campaigns for a world in which no human being is bought or sold.