who will change the way
you see the world
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'.
Vidya Balan was born in Mumbai, India. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from St. Xavier's College, a master's degree in sociology from Bombay University (now University of Mumbai) and has passed the junior vocal examination in carnatic music at Karnataka University. Balan is an acclaimed actress in Indian cinema, whose work has been recognised with more than fifty awards, and who was on the 2013 Cannes Film Festival jury. Balan is an ambassador for the Indian government's sanitation programmes, and, in 2014, was awarded the Padma Shri Award by the Indian government.