Meet some of the millions of women who migrated recently, risking everything

In fear, hope, or desperation, these women left home seeking new lives. Some found opportunity; others found more uncertainty—or worse.

After washing clothes in a roadside puddle, a woman walks home through a parched field in drought-stricken Somaliland. A changing, more extreme climate has upended millions of lives in the Horn of Africa. As cattle, goats, and camels have died off, seminomadic pastoralists like her have had no choice but to move, often to displacement camps or cities.
Photograph by Nichole Sobecki, National Geographic

Raxma Xasan Maxamuud never wanted to leave her home in Somaliland. But a relentless cycle of droughts turned rivers to dust and dried up the grasses her livestock depended on. In Honduras, violence drove Kataleya Nativi Baca, a transgender woman, on a perilous journey to the United States border.

Women make up about half of those who migrate internationally and within their own countries. Some are pulled by the promise of a better future, but for those who face famine or danger in their home countries, migration is a gamble for their very survival.

Here, photographers with The Everyday Projects—a global network with a mission to challenge stereotypes by presenting diverse perspectives—explore how hardship and obligation, violence, poverty, climate change, and other forces undermine women’s lives, spurring them to make life-changing journeys.

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