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International Women Athlets Photo Contest

The Muhammad Ali Center

• Deadline: 31st December, 2023

• Theme: Shining a Light: Women Athlets

• Prize: $1,000 + Exhibition

• Entry Fees: Free


The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, is delighted to declare the launch of its tenth annual "Shining a Light" International Photography Contest and the subsequent exhibition. This competition and exhibition are dedicated to promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and #5 (Gender Equality). In this year's edition, the Ali Center extends an invitation to participants to submit photographs that capture the diverse ways in which women engage in sports and the challenges they confront on a global scale. Following the conclusion of the contest, the Muhammad Ali Center will curate a documentary-style exhibition featuring a selection of 30 photographs, commencing on International Women's Day, which is scheduled for Friday, March 8, 2024.

Contest Theme

The theme of the contest is "Shining a Light: Women Athletes." In 2020, the Olympic Games marked a significant milestone with almost half of the participating athletes being women. This achievement came 120 years after women were initially permitted to compete in the 1900 Paris Olympics. Despite the increasing representation of women in sports, there remains a gender imbalance within the Olympic Committee, with less than 20% of its members being women. Globally, female athletes continue to grapple with discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, physical appearance, physical ability, personality, and other factors. Additionally, women's sports often suffer from underfunding, leading to subpar facilities, inadequate equipment, and unequal compensation. Photographers, whether amateur or professional, are encouraged to submit images that depict the various aspects of women's involvement in sports and the challenges they encounter on a global scale. The contest will accept photographs that portray the following themes:

  1. Disparities in women's sports facilities and equipment compared to men's.

  2. Female athletes participating in team or individual sports, whether professionally or recreationally.

  3. Gender inequalities in sports influenced by sociopolitical conditions.

  4. The transformative impact of sports in empowering women and girls in terms of physical fitness, health, agency, and community.

Exhibition Purpose

Through the resulting documentary-style exhibition, the Muhammad Ali Center aims to raise awareness and educate visitors about gender inequalities in sports, especially concerning women athletes on a global level. The objective is to inspire viewers to take action and contribute to the creation of a more just world.

Contest Calendar

  • Call for Submissions: Opens on Saturday, July 1, 2023.

  • Entry Deadline: Closes on Sunday, December 31, 2023.

  • Muhammad Ali Center Exhibition: Runs from March 8, 2024 (International Women’s Day) to January 5, 2025.


Contest winners will receive monetary prizes directly from the Muhammad Ali Center as follows:

  1. 1st Prize — $1000

  2. 2nd Prize — $750

  3. 3rd Prize — $500

These monetary prizes will be awarded through digital Swift transfers. Upon receiving an award, winners will be required to provide their personal bank Swift number, bank name, bank address, individual account name, and account number for the transfer. Prizes will be disbursed within four weeks of notification of winning. Please note that residents of countries identified on the current U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control list are not eligible to receive prize money from this contest. Nevertheless, they are welcome to participate by submitting photographs.

In addition to monetary prizes, winners will receive recognition through press releases, website features, and social media exposure.

Rules and Legal Conditions

By participating in the "Shining a Light" photo contest, photographers agree to the following rules and legal conditions:

  • The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers.

  • Photographers under the age of 18 must submit a Parental Consent Form.

  • Each participant is limited to submitting one photograph.

  • Submitted photographs and the photographer's name may be displayed, published, and used by the Muhammad Ali Center for an indefinite period with proper credit.

  • Photographs and names may also be displayed at other venues for an indefinite period.

  • Participants retain ownership and all other rights to future use of their photographs.

  • Selected photographers will have the opportunity to opt into a photo sale agreement for the period of the exhibition. The Muhammad Ali Center will cover the cost of printing, and proceeds from sales will be split, with 40% going to the photographers and 60% to the Muhammad Ali Center. Unsold prints will remain the property of the Muhammad Ali Center.

  • Participants warrant that their photographs are original and do not infringe on any third party's rights. They also affirm that they have obtained all necessary permissions from any third party depicted in the photograph.

  • The Muhammad Ali Center reserves the right to verify the eligibility of winners.

  • Decisions made by the Muhammad Ali Center and its judges regarding the photo contest are final and binding.


The submission deadline is Sunday, December 31, 2023, at 11:59 PM (EST). Submissions can be made through the provided form: Contest Submission Form.

About "Shining a Light"

In 2013, the Muhammad Ali Center launched the "Shining a Light" international photography contest to heighten awareness of gender equality issues. The "Shining a Light" exhibition is held annually on March 8, International Women's Day, and features educational programming related to the chosen theme to enhance the audience's experience.

About the Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. This international cultural center promotes Muhammad Ali's six core principles (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) to inspire personal and global greatness. The Center is dedicated to education, gender equity, and global citizenship, and its Generation Ali initiative aims to nurture the next generation of leaders who can make positive contributions to their communities and the world. The Center also houses an award-winning museum experience.


For further information about the photo contest, rules, awards, exhibitions, and venues, please contact or visit


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