Public Media Campaign on Women and Girls Leadership Celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

Women and Girls Lead Online Film Festival to Launch March 1, High-Profile Gatherings Planned for International Women’s Day, New Campaign Website to Feature Dynamic Pipeline of Doc Shorts

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(San Francisco, CA) — The Independent Television Service (ITVS) announced today that its Women and Girls Lead public media initiative will present a multifaceted set of activities for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in March. Led by ITVS in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS, Women and Girls Lead is a multi-year initiative that integrates content from partners across television, radio, and beyond. 

“Women's History Month is an important time for public media to call attention to the important work of women and girl leaders worldwide,” said Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of CPB and Advisory Board Chair of Women and Girls Lead. “It is also a time for us to rise to the challenge to ensure that these stories reach audiences every day of the year. Women and Girls Lead offers an important model for public media to serve its mission in the 21st century.” 

“We are thrilled to celebrate and elevate the work of those who are fighting to uplift women everywhere,” said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS President and CEO. “To engage audiences on multiple platforms, Women and Girls Lead will launch its inaugural online film festival, present three high-profile events in recognition of International Women’s Day, and unveil a new interactive campaign website,”

Women and Girls Lead Online Film Festival
Women and Girls Lead kicks off Women’s History Month with the launch of its first Women and Girls Lead Online Film Festival on March 1, 2012. The festival will run through the month and will feature a collection of documentary films by prominent independent filmmakers showcasing extraordinary women and girls on the front lines of changing the world. Titles include Troop 1500, directed by Ellen Spiro and Karen Bernstein; Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, directed by Byron Hurt; among others. The film festival will be supported by key campaign partners who will co-present four interactive online social screening events every Wednesday of the month, including a co-presentation of Troop 1500 with Girl Scouts of the USA. These social screenings will allow viewers to interact in real time with leading women’s organizations, filmmakers, and other attendees while watching groundbreaking documentaries. 

Events in Honor of International Women’s Day
Alongside the online film festival, Women and Girls Lead will present three high-profile events with key partners in honor of International Women’s Day. On Saturday, March 3 at 5 PM, Women’s International Perspective in partnership with Women and Girls Lead will present the Media as an Instrument for Change Symposium at Monterey Peninsula College in California. The symposium will address the correlation between media, public policy, and gender inequality with an emphasis on the role of media in influencing the public’s perception of critical issues. Maria Hinojosa, host of Latino USA and Women and Girls Lead advisory board member, will deliver the keynote address. To find out more information on the event, visit 

Women and Girls Lead will also partner with CARE to present an International Women’s Day celebration and screening event on March 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM ET in Washington, D.C. The event will feature a screening of the critically acclaimed Pray the Devil Back to Hell, directed by Gini Reticker and part of the Women, War & Peace PBS mini-series. A post-screening panel on the role of women in changing the world will feature the film’s executive producer, Abigail E. Disney, Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS and Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. The film screening and panel will be live-streamed online to allow viewers across the country to watch the acclaimed documentary and participate in the discussion. For more information about the event, visit 

Also on March 7, Women and Girls Lead will sponsor a panel at the Integrated Media Association (iMA) Conference in Austin, TX, titled Women Lead: Public Media in the 21st Century. Facilitated by Maria Hinojosa, the panel will look at how women are transforming the landscape of public media innovation, audience engagement, and new forms of storytelling. Presenting women as innovators and collaborators, the panel will examine how multiple stories told through both traditional and digital media can work in concert to illuminate issues, create sustained, global conversations, and invite the public to get involved. The panel will also serve as a showcase for conversations on projects in production, by some of public media’s top women producers. For more information, visit 

New Campaign Website
Launching on March 1, Women and Girls Lead will unveil its new dynamic campaign website: Featuring an interactive video mosaic, the website offers an array of short video content including profiles of women in leadership roles in communities nationwide, and interviews with luminaries and leading scholars, from South African activist and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu to Christy Turlington-Burns, model and founder of Every Mother Counts, to Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland, and others. The mosaic will be refreshed throughout the year with new engagement opportunities and additional video content to provide the full scope of Women and Girls Lead activities and partnerships. 

Women and Girls Lead is a multiyear public media initiative to focus, educate, and connect citizens worldwide in support of the issues facing women and girls. Combining independent documentary film, television, new media, and global outreach partnerships, Women and Girls Lead amplifies the voices of women and girls acting as leaders, expands understanding of gender equity, and engages an international network of citizens and organizations to act locally and reach out globally. 

By building a pipeline of some 50 public television documentaries and integrating content from partners across radio, commercial television, and beyond, Women and Girls Lead offers another model for public media to serve its mission in the 21st century, connecting key stakeholders to sustain productive dialogue and participation on the most critical issues facing local communities, the nation, and the world. For more information please visit:

Posted on March 1, 2012