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Stephanie Sinclair

Created: 2012

A lieutenant in the elite female counterterrorism unit patrols the women’s barracks.


While on assignment in Yemen Sinclair spent a day with female members of the elite counterterrorism unit. Trained women are essential in conservative cultures in the Arab world where men cannot pat down female suspects who might include men disguised as women. The unit trains five days a week running drills and taking practice alongside the men.

In searching for behind-the-scenes views of their lives, Sinclair made this image of a lieutenant walking with her gun in the barracks. The idea for the pink walls came from the female officers. “It’s nice to see that kind of duality and see a different side of Yemeni women. I’ve photographed a lot of things that women around the world have struggled with. But there are also a lot of achievements,” Sinclair reflects.