ITVS Partners with Geena Davis to Confront the Effects of Media on Children

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and ITVS have partnered together to produce an educational program, which includes five short videos produced for kids titled Guess Who?, to be featured by the Women and Girls Lead campaign.

Watch Guess Who?: The Mayor and The Judge on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

It is time to take a hard look at the message contemporary media is sending to children and young adults. Guess Who? teaches children ages 6 to 9 to challenge gender stereotypes through the use of video and educational curriculum.

“Media images are a powerful force in shaping our perceptions of men and women. The stark gender inequality in media aimed at little children is significant, as television and movies wield enormous influence on them as they develop a sense of their role in the world. And because young kids tend to watch the same TV shows and movies repeatedly, negative stereotypes get imprinted again and again,” said Geena Davis, Academy® Award-winning actor and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Student producers at the University of Southern California, Boston University, Columbia College, Lipscomb University, and Webster University worked with the Institute to create the shorts, which will air on public television stations nationwide and are also featured online by PBS’ Emmy Award Winning series, Independent Lens.

On April 19th, Davis will be giving the keynote address to open the 7th annual West Hollywood’s Women’s Leadership Conference: Unlimited Opportunities – Knowledge. Power. Community. The conference includes a special screening of the Oscar nominated film, The Invisible War, which will be preceded by the Guess Who? short, “The Soldier,” produced by USC. The event includes a panel discussion led by PBS SoCal’s Maria Hall Brown and features filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, along with subject Alison Gil.

Google Recognizes the Geena Davis Institute’s Commitment to Women and Girls

Women and Girls Lead partner, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, has been selected by Google to receive the inaugural Global Impact Award.

The Global Impact Awards support organizations using technology and innovative approaches to tackle some of the world’s toughest human challenges.  The Geena Davis Institute will be one of seven organizations to receive the $1.2 million grant.  The award will be used to support the development of new software to analyze gender portrayals on screen, allowing previously time-intensive research to scale globally and accelerating the positive representation of female characters in children’s media.

Although the world’s population is more than 50 percent female, women are outnumbered by males three to one in U.S. media and five to one behind the camera. Additionally, female characters are six times more likely to be depicted in family films as partially nude with extremely tiny waists or sexually-suggestive clothing.

What kids see on television at a young age has very real effects on their development and social and cultural behaviors and beliefs. These negative images contribute to increased likelihood for girls to have poor academic performance, body image issues, early sexual behavior, and less promising life and occupational choices. Continue reading

Geena Davis Fights for Women and Girls in Hollywood

Academy Award-winning actor and advocate Geena Davis is at it again, shining light on the lack of female representation in the entertainment industry. Struck by the uneven media landscape eight years ago while watching television with her daughter, Davis has worked tirelessly to promote the positive and balanced portrayal of girls in the media. This week, KCET aired a segment on Davis’ work with her organization, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and ITVS’s Women and Girls Lead.

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Back in November, before the third annual Symposium on Gender in Media where the Geena Davis Institute released their latest research, Ms. Magazine sat down with Davis to discuss the lack of advancement in female representation and the part feminism plays in altering how girls and women are characterized. Click here to read the full article on the Ms. Magazine blog.  Access Hollywood attended the event and incorporated some of Davis’ work into their report on gender representation in media.

To learn more about the Women and Girls Lead initiative, please click here.