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.

Geena Davis Says Women and Girls Lead in Nashville

By Steve Goldbloom
Marketing & Communications Manager, ITVS 

The Academy Award-winning actor and advocate made her first visit to Nashville this week, speaking at multiple events devoted to empowering women and girls.

Geena Davis delivering her keynote address at Lipscomb University in Nashville

On Thursday, Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership and The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media hosted the event: “A League of Their Own,” — featuring an inspiring keynote address from Geena Davis.

The program was in partnership with Nashville Public Television and its support of the public media campaign, Women and Girls Lead.

“Women are seriously underrepresented in every sector of society,” the Oscar-winner pointed out before a packed audience.

Davis was particularly critical of the disproportionate number of male to female characters presented on children’s programming.
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Live Chat with Geena Davis on Women and Girls Lead

On Wednesday, May 23 at 3pm CT / 4pm ET — Women and Girls Lead advocate and Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis will participate in a live social screening and chat about women’s empowerment. Nashville Public Television will produce the event, which will stream the War Redefined (narrated by Davis), as episode from the acclaimed series Women War and Peace. Follow this link to participate in Wednesday’s event with Geena Davis.

The capstone of PBS’s Women, War & Peace — War Redefined challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, Secretaries of State and seasoned survivors of war and peace-making.
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Watch Women, War & Peace Tonight on PBS

Women, War & Peace — the first installment from the Women and Girls Lead campaign — is a new five-part series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain. The program premieres tonight at 10 PM on PBS (check local listings).

The vast majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nation states and their armies, but rather by informal entities: gangs and warlords using small arms and improvised weapons. Women, War & Peace by Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, and Pamela Hogan, reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict.

With narration by Matt Damon, Geena Davis, Tilda Swinton and Alfre Woodard;  Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframing our understanding of modern warfare. Women, War & Peace premieres Tuesdays, October 11, 18, 25 and November 1 and 8 at 10 PM on PBS (check local listings).

Watch the trailer after the jump >>
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Women and Girls Lead, Front and Center in NYC

The multi-year public media initiative anchored several high-profile events in New York last month with actor Geena Davis and other key members of the Women and Girls Lead team.

The campaign made a big splash in Manhattan on Tuesday, September 21st with a panel at Mashable’s Social Good Conference at the 92nd Street Y, entitled: Women and Girls Lead: Where Storytelling, Gaming, and Public Media Converge. (NOTE: You can watch the entire panel in the video below…)

The panel was moderated by Aaron Sherinian, VP of Communications at the UN Foundation, and included: Geena Davis (Academy Award winner and advocate), Paula Kerger (president and CEO of PBS), Abigail Disney (executive producer of Women, War & Peace), and Asi Burak (co-founder of Games for Change).
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Meridian, ITVS, and CPB Celebrate Global Women’s Empowerment

Last week, ITVS and CPB celebrated the launch of the Council on Women’s Leadership and the Women and Girls Lead initiative at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, September 15, Meridian, ITVS, and CPB, celebrated the launch of the Council on Women’s Leadership and shared a special preview of the Women and Girls Lead campaignThe focus of the evening was to raise awareness about the role of women and girls around the world, with a particular emphasis on women as leaders and agents of change.
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Women and Girls Lead, Live from the 92nd Street Y

Last week, ITVS announced the roll-out of major national PBS broadcasts for its Women and Girls Lead campaign. The three-year public media initiative will educate, focus, and connect viewers with more than 50 acclaimed documentaries.

Now, the campaign is off and running with several high profile events taking place this week in New York City. Here, BTB reports live on the ground from the 92nd Street Y for a panel discussion on the initiative (12:30 PM PT / 3:30 PM ET) and a keynote speech from one of the campaign’s strongest advocates, Academy Award winning actor Geena Davis (10:30 AM PT / 1:30 PM ET).

Geena Davis Expects Women and Girls to Lead

Oscar-winning Actor Geena Davis helped launch ITVS’ Women and Girls Lead campaign at the PBS Annual meeting in Orlando, FL. Here, Davis describes why she has so much faith in the power of public media and the power of women and girls.

During the conference, Davis discussed her own work on gender discrimination in media, as well as ITVS’ multi-year initiative, aimed at supporting women and girls’ leadership through independent films. Find out more at

ITVS in the News

A sampling of coverage from The New York Times, indieWIRE, NPR and more…

New York Times: A TV Project Planned on Female Leadership
The Independent Television Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are teaming up for a three-year, 50-film project called “Women and Girls Lead,” which will put a documentary spotlight on leadership roles of women and girls and the challenges they face in the United States and worldwide.
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indieWIRE Blog – Women and Hollywood: ITVS Launches Women and Girls Lead
This is “a major public media initiative that uses independent films to focus, educate, and connect audiences in support of women and girl’s leadership and development around the world.” There will also be an educational outreach component to the project and they will partner with organizations like the Girl Scouts that focus on these issues. Continue reading