Untouchable Woman, India, 2003

Photograph by William Albert Allard

A veiled woman of the Untouchable caste pauses for a photo while sweeping outside her home in India. India's constitution forbids caste discrimination and specifically abolishes Untouchability, but the hierarchies and social codes of Hinduism perpetuate the system.

—Text adapted from and photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Untouchable," June 2003, National Geographic magazine