European & International News

Women And Girls Lead: a public media initiative to focus, educate, and connect citizens worldwide in support of the issues facing women and girls

[ITVS, San Francisco, 21 September 2011] The Independent Television Service (ITVS) announced the roll out of the public media campaign Women and Girls Lead. 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.


Women and Girls Lead brings to life the stories of extraordinary people captured by the world’s best independent documentary filmmakers. As the largest provider of independent content— domestic and international—to U.S. public television, ITVS witnessed in recent years a groundswell of stories surfacing about women’s and girls’ leadership. At the same time, public dialogue about the growing fight against global poverty, violence, and extremism increasingly focused on women and girls. In this convergence of content and conversation, ITVS saw the opportunity to test a strategy to bring together and lift up independent voices, extending their reach in new and innovative ways.

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.


Women and Girls Lead combines coordinated media services and strategies that include:

  • Program funding and production services. Women and Girls Lead projects are funded through ITVS. Read more on the Producer FAQ.
  • Television and online broadcasts. Programs air on PBS series such as Independent Lens, FRONTLINE, POV, Global Voices, and other television partners. Full-length and shortform content — along with games and other new media — are also available online. Read more at Films.
  • Outreach partnerships. Outreach partners bring Women and Girls Lead to life in communities across the U.S. and around the world, connecting audiences and participants everywhere working to help women and girls realize their potential. Read more at Partners and Get Involved.
  • Opportunities for public television stations. Community events, educational materials, mini-grants, partnerships, and more. Read more on the PTV Station Campaign Overview.
  • Advisory board. Leaders from media, entertainment, non-profit organizations, government, and beyond help guide Women and Girls Lead. Read more at Advisory Board.

Women and Girls Lead is spearheaded by the Independent Television Service [ITVS] and its Global Perspectives Project. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. The Global Perspectives Project is funded by Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation.

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