The Women's Initiative

In every country in the world, women are being abused, trafficked, bartered, sold, burned by fire and acid and killed, sometimes by their own families, for “honor” or anger.
The Alexia Foundation, recognizing that most of the time abuse of women in the United States is hidden, rationalized, ignored, and sometimes worst of all, quietly accepted by the women being abused, has created a grant to provide resources for a photojournalist to produce a project that illuminates any form of abuse of women in the United States but with global significance.
The Alexia Foundation’s main purpose is to encourage and help photojournalists create stories that drive change. While our traditional grant guidelines put no limits on the subject matter for grant proposals, a few proposals about women’s rights in the last few years have been so powerful that they have compelled the Foundation to create a grant specifically on the issue of women’s abuse.  Because this issue is so shocking and deplorable – but continues partly because it is so often unseen or ignored – the Foundation will provide a $25,000 grant so a project can be produced that will illuminate the horrors of what is happening, often invisibly in our own communities.
We invite proposals from any photojournalist anywhere in the world, to be submitted by August 15, 2012.
We will notify the winner by email or telephone by October 1, 2012.
The winner will have six months or until April 1 to complete the project.


Any photographer may apply for this grant. This award is for an individual photographer. Collaborative applications are not accepted.

Judging Criteria

We prefer proposals for stories that have not been published. We welcome proposals for projects already in progress.  And we will gladly consider proposals for stories that further expand and develop concepts that have been published already.
A well-written statement of purpose proposal is required. This is not a portfolio competition. The grant will be awarded to a photojournalist who can write a concise, focused, and meaningful story proposal concerning women’s abuse and who can demonstrate the ability to visually execute that story with compelling images. There is no mathematical formula for determining grantees, but the proposal and photography must both be considered of the highest quality.
The Alexia Foundation expects to assist the photographer in creating a multimedia production of the finished work. This can be done with still pictures only, but we encourage proposals with video components as well as still images.
Professional applications will be judged in two rounds. First, members of the Alexia photojournalism advisory board, the Alexia Board and its executive advisors will review portfolios and move those demonstrating strongest visual storytelling skills to a second round.
In the second round, judges first read and rank the story proposals for all those portfolios brought forward. If no judge thinks the proposal is worth considering, the portfolio will not be reviewed in the second round. A winner is chosen based on the judges' determination of the combination of the strongest proposal and photography.

Application Procedure

Application for this grant is done online here. An application shall be composed of the following:
1. A proposal of not more than 750 words for a photo story, picture essay, or photo-documentary project that explains your idea for a project that will increase our knowledge and understanding of the horrors of women’s abuse. Anything over 750 words will be cut. Judges will only see the first 750 words.
Our traditional annual grant is judged anonymously. This competition is not. Please put your name on your work.
Only one application per person.
2. A summary of the main idea of your project consisting of no more than 25 words.
3. A portfolio consisting of no more than twenty pictures, with captions. Or, you may submit multimedia presentations as your portfolio. You may submit both stills and multimedia if you want.
4. A resume. Be sure to include your email address, phone numbers and mailing address. Also include names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references with your resume. Do not send letters of recommendation.

Portfolio Format and Requirements

Applications must be submitted through our online application process. (If you find it impossible to enter online, contact and we will find a way to get your entry into our system.)

Application Deadline

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST, August 15, 2012.

To Enter

Use the Alexia competition entry site to submit your application. Be prepared with text files of your 750 word proposal and your resume, and have digital photo files formatted as medium-quality JPEG images at no more than 1024x768 pixels for landscape, or 768x1024 pixels for verticals, 72dpi. Each image must have a caption. We read captions from file info, or you can insert captions during the entry process.
To enter multimedia, enter a URL where required.

If you have questions

If you are uncertain about any of these requirements, please contact:

Requirements on Winners

Recipients of any awards agree that credit to the Alexia Foundation be given on publication of the funded works.
The Alexia Foundation expects to create a multimedia production with assistance from the grant winner. We will need access to the broadest possible edit of your work, including video if possible, since a multimedia presentation could possibly use  200 or more images.  So please send DVDs with all your useful images.  Also include as much video as you can.  Please include a separate disk with your best 20 still images cropped and toned. These will be used for any show of still photographs.  All images submitted should be of the highest possible resolution.

Grant of Rights

All applicants acknowledge and agree that effective with the awarding of each Alexia Grant, the Foundation shall have a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free license to copy, publish, distribute and display, in any medium and in any publication, venue or program sponsored or authorized by the Foundation for the advancement of its mission and goals, any and all photographs submitted with each winning application. Each applicant warrants and represents that every photograph submitted with such applicant's Alexia Grant entry is his/her own original work and that he/she has the unrestricted right to grant to the Foundation the license described below.

Alexia Grants will be awarded subject to these additional terms:

The license granted herein by the recipient to the Foundation for use of photographs submitted with the recipient's Alexia Grant application shall be extended in all its terms to all works created by the recipient in the course of any project funded by the recipient's Alexia Grant.
Each recipient shall be deemed to have consented to the use of his/her name, portrait, and/or picture by the Foundation in promotional and public relations materials or for any other purpose related to the Alexia Grant program or the Foundation.
Each recipient shall agree to reasonable requests by the Foundation to present such recipient's work and/or represent the Foundation at photography workshops, seminars and/or conventions, provided that any necessary expense associated with such presentations is paid by the Foundation.
Each recipient shall be responsible for determining his or her own tax liability arising from acceptance of the Alexia Grant, and for satisfaction of any such liability.
View Prior Winning Submissions