On May 19th, Independent Television Service (ITVS) launched Women and Girls Lead, “a multiyear public media initiative to focus, educate, and connect citizens worldwide in support of the issues facing women and girls.” The objective of this initiative is to amplify the voices of women and girls acting as leaders globally by coordinated media services and strategies such as program funding, production services, broadcasting, and outreach partnerships.
Women and Girls Lead initiative took root because of an increase in compelling stories of women and girls fighting poverty, violence, and extremism around the world. This initiative is hoping to build a new mental model of women’s role as a leader in a community and in their chosen profession. They are “building a pipeline of some 50 public television documentaries while integrating content from partners across radio, commercial television, and the internet.” One such project is the Half the Sky multimedia special that promotes the book (by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn), provides stories of women around the world, and an online forum to further the discussion to raise the status of women and ending global poverty.
Another similar example unrelated to this project but really adheres to me is the impact Muhammad Yunus and his colleagues at Grameen Bank have achieved in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank success a microcredit lender to the poor Bangladeshis living in rural villages stems from their strategy to focus on women. The founders understood that women were the critical enabler and changes agents that can help their family move out of poverty. Grameen Bank’s success changed women’s role in a male dominated culture. In the last thirty years, through initiatives such as Grameen Bank has helped Bangladeshi women take a more active voice with in their family, community, and professions. Women and Girls Lead hopes to amplify similar initiatives.
This video will show you some of the other projects the Women and Girls Lead initiative is supporting.