USAID Partners With Ford Foundation, ITVS, CARE for Media Project Promoting Gender Equality

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 24, 2012
USAID Press Office

NEW YORK – Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced today the launch of Women and Girls Lead Global, a public-private partnership between USAID, the Ford Foundation, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), working in collaboration with CARE.

The partnership is a 3-year, 9-country, 30-film media project to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide, creating a 10-episode documentary film series each year about women and girls rising above dire circumstances to seek better lives for themselves, their families, and communities. 

Television networks in nine countries will broadcast the series to viewers.  Local film, radio and new media producers will create “call-to-action” content such as public service announcements, radio programming and mobile content to localize the series and engage viewers.  CARE and local NGOs will work with Women and Girls Lead Global to build media engagement campaigns to amplify and increase the impact of existing civil society efforts already underway in education, health, violence, economic empowerment and leadership.  

“What’s exciting about this project is its depth and scale,” said Administrator Shah.  “Women and Girls Lead Global is a real opportunity to improve the lives of women and girls around the world by connecting the power of media to the individuals and organizations working on the ground for social change.”

"We’ve seen that freedom of expression, gender equality and social justice are inextricably linked,” said Ford President Luis Urbinas.  “Ford has long invested in filmmakers who want to make a difference and community champions fighting to end child marriage, promote girls education, and empower women worldwide.  Women and Girls Lead Global connects the dots to put media to work for the people on the front lines of these pressing issues."

ITVS will lead the implementation of the project, building on its domestic work on gender equality through its U.S.-focused Women and Girls Lead project, which brings documentary films to American public television audiences alongside engagement campaigns active in 100 cities nationwide, along with an online presence through social screenings, games, and other interactive engagement.  Sally Fifer, president and CEO of the Independent Television Service, said  “We now have an opportunity to connect the inspiring documentary films from China or Chicago with audiences in Kolcata and Nairobi, while working with NGOs to use media to help save lives and support women and girls striving to realize their full potential.” 

Women and Girls Lead Global will work closely with CARE to support their existing work and the work of other NGOS in five countries—Egypt, Kenya, India, Bangladesh and Peru—with streamlined activities in Malawi, Jordan, Colombia and El Salvador.  “We know what works where to improve the lives of women and girls,” said Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE.  “With Women and Girls Lead Global, we have a chance to see how media can enhance our work and strive to break new ground with ITVS, Ford and USAID in creating a model that can help those working for women and girls everywhere.”

Last updated: October 19, 2017

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