Women's Empowerment Collection
Social and Economic Change on Film
ITVS Community Classroom / Directed by Rodrigo Vazquez / Produced by Don Edkins and Mette Heide
Waiting for the Revolution
ITVS Community Classroom / Directed by Alan Dater / Produced by Lisa Merton
In the Women’s Empowerment documentary module collection, viewers will glimpse into the lives of four remarkable women around the world, all confronting diverse and universal challenges that call them to action. These stories, all funded by the Independent Television Service and created from feature-length documentary films, raise provocative questions about what it takes to fight for social and economic change against extreme obstacles. These short-modules are powerful tools for sparking dialogue, deepening studies and inspiring action.Taking Root
tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the first environmentalist and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The film examines her personal philosophy, her leadership of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and her ability to empower rural women to mobilize around Kenya’s issues of dwindling natural resources, widespread poverty and oppressive government practices. The clip below shows how Maathai teaches Kenya’s most marginalized citizens about the interconnectedness of the country’s history and current lack of resources, and as a result inspires a legion of environmental champions.
The clip from Waiting for the Revolution
introduces Jiovana Nava, a newly elected delegate to indigenous leader Evo Morales’ revolutionary government in Bolivia. Voted into office by the poor women from the labor organization PLANE, Nava soon finds that her hard-won political power comes with its own burdens. Faced with indifference from her male colleagues in Parliament, and disillusionment from within her own party, she struggles to secure promised jobs and housing for the PLANE women. This film shines light on the precarious economic reality of indigenous women in Bolivia, and the fragility of Bolivia’s fledgling democracy.
The collection features modules from two other compelling films. Shadya
examines a fiercely independent young Arab-Israeli woman as she stands up to her family and tradition to become a national Karate champion. Shayfeen.com: We’re Watching You
tells the story of a group of three courageous women who form a watchdog organization to monitor the 2005 elections in Egypt; the first multi-party elections in 25 years.
ITVS' film content is paired with innovative discussion guides for NGOs and community groups, and standards-based lesson plans for educators, and are available for free on the ITVS Web site.