Why Women Count is a series of 41 x 5 minute programmes made by broadcasters and producers in 41 countries focusing on the theme of empowerment - and what it means in the lives of ordinary women and men around the world. The series aims to inspire, increase awareness and stimulate debate about the key role that women’s rights and gender equality play in the social, economic and political development of their countries, communities and families.
The short documentaries were produced by the Broadcasting for Change Network, a unique group of international broadcasters and producers founded by TVE in 1995, and committed to producing and airing programmes on women's rights and equality worldwide. Since then the Network has collaborated on the production, exchange and broadcast of five series of programme exploring the status and condition of women in different parts of the world (see also Snapshots of Change, Reel to Real and Broadcasting for Change: >From Rhetoric to Reality). In 2006 the Network grew to 41 countries, with the addition of nine new participants from Bosnia Herzegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, Thailand, Uganda.
For the new series, each of the broadcasters/producers in the Network has researched and produced their own story on women’s empowerment – or lack of empowerment –in their own country or region. In return, each receives from TVE in London all 41 of the Why Women Count films - in English, Spanish or an International version, for translating and dubbing into local languages – which they can then broadcast on their own national, regional or local TV channels, copyright free. This collaborative exchange model provides all the Network members with access to a range of films on women’s rights they would never otherwise have produced or broadcast – while giving audiences a unique insight into the lives of other women around the world, experiencing the same kinds of discrimination and oppression, and finding their own solutions to deal with these.
The outcome is a powerful series of 41 short films showing women struggling to overcome difficulties in many walks of life, all round the world. The Power of her Voice, from Kenya, profiles MP Njoki Ndung’u who made history in 2006 when she shepherded a new Sexual Offences Law, finally outlawing violence against women, through Kenya’s male-dominated parliament. Lily Counts Is the moving story of Nepalese widow, Lily Thapa, fighting for cultural dignity for widows facing discriminatory traditions and customary stigmatisation in Nepal. Esma’s Secret explores entrenched attitudes towards rape victims in Bosnia Herzegovina, and the breakthrough that accompanied one woman speaking out on the issue in traditional Bosnian society, while Protagonists of the New History recounts how the election of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president - and his commitment to appointing women minister, including an indigenous women as Minister of Justice, has moved women into the mainstream of Bolivia’s development.
The Why Women Count series is available on Beta, VHS and DVD compilation tapes from TVE for non-broadcast use. Contact TVE Distribution Department
Why Women Count was made possible with the help of:
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