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Worldwide one in three women will experience a form of violence by their partner. 200 Million girls and women continue to be affected by FGM. Just one-third of all parliamentarians are women. On average women earn 77% of what men do. While much progress has been made towards gender equality, the statistics reveal there is is still much work to be done.

WHY WOMEN? aims to raise awareness about the ongoing challenges which women and girls face today. Through six documentaries and 10 short films, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, WHY WOMEN? inspires interest, prompts critical thinking and creates a debate about girls’ and women’s health, rights and wellbeing around the world.

“There are still so many obstacles for girls and women. We must never forget to fight this battle. I am proud to take part in 10 short films directed by talents from different corners of the world – shedding light on the challenges faced by women and girls globally.”
- Dame Helen Mirren

Worldwide one in three women will experience a form of violence by their partner. 200 Million girls and women continue to be affected by FGM. Just one-third of all parliamentarians are women. On average women earn 77% of what men do. While much progress has been made towards gender equality, the statistics reveal there is is still much work to be done.

WHY WOMEN? aims to raise awareness about the ongoing challenges which women and girls face today. Through six documentaries and 10 short films, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, WHY WOMEN? inspires interest, prompts critical thinking and creates a debate about girls’ and women’s health, rights and wellbeing around the world.

“There are still so many obstacles for girls and women. We must never forget to fight this battle. I am proud to take part in 10 short films directed by talents from different corners of the world – shedding light on the challenges faced by women and girls globally.”
- Dame Helen Mirren

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Films and media

Crown Princess Mary’s Mission

Line Johansen & Helle Slejborg

2016

What can HRH Crown Princess Mary learn from the women she meets in Burkina Faso and Senegal?

In this film we venture with HRH Crown Princess Mary, when she visits the poverty-stricken West-African nation of Burkina Faso. Here, she joins the efforts of local women to gain the right to self-determination over their own bodies. We also revisit HRH’s visit to Senegal last year, where she was involved in the campaign against Female genital mutilation – a painful practice causing harm to millions of women in Africa and some parts of Asia. She reveals the details of her work in the struggle for women’s rights and for empowering disenfranchised women across the globe.

Iron Ladies of Liberia

Daniel Junge & Siatta Scott Johnson

2016

Who are the “Iron Ladies” and how have they changed Liberia?

After surviving a 14-year civil war and a government riddled with corruption, Liberia is ready for change. On January 16, 2006, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was inaugurated President – the first freely elected female head of state in Africa. Having won a hotly contested election with the overwhelming support of women across Liberia, Sirleaf faces the daunting task of lifting her country from debt and devastation. She turns to a remarkable team of women, appointing them in positions such as police chief, finance minister, minister of justice, commerce minister and minister of gender. In Iron Ladies, we follow them behind the scenes during their critical first year in office as they tackle indolent bureaucracy, black markets and the omnipresent threat of violent riots.

Solar Mamas

Mona Eldaief & Jehane Noujaim

2016

How can solar engineering be a route out of poverty for women?

Rafea is the second wife of a Bedouin husband. She is selected to attend the Barefoot College in India that takes uneducated middle-aged women from poor communities and trains them to become solar engineers. The college’s 6-month programme brings together women from all over the world. Learning about electrical components and soldering without being able to read, write or understand English is the easy part. Witness Rafea’s heroic efforts to pull herself and her family out of poverty.

State of Women

Louise Unmack Kjeldsen

2016

What does a day look like for dedicated women’s rights advocates, all over the world?

Every single day 39.000 girls under the age of 18 are sold of to marriage. Every single day at least two women are acid-attacked in India. On the African continent more than three million girls and women are circumcised every year. The statistics are frightening, yet things are moving in the right direction, due to the efforts of many strong advocates around the globe. State of the Women follows inspiring women during one day of their lives, providing the audience with a unique insight to their everyday lives. In the film you will meet the young Afghan rapper Sonita, the Chinese feminist activist Li Ting Ting, CEO of Save the Children; Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and other inspiring and strong women.

The Secret Slaves of the Middle-East

Puk Damsgaard & Søren Klovborg

2016

How are unskilled workers being trapped and trafficked in the Middle-East?

Mary Joy Dao-Ay is a Filipino maid who used to be a domestic worker in Lebanon. She left her 3 children in the Philippines, planning to pay for their education by earning a higher salary working in the Middle-East. Instead, she was forced to flee for her own safety, and got stuck in Lebanon seeking refuge at a shelter. The secret slaves of the Middle East is the story of Mary Joys’ desperate struggle for justice, in a country with no labour laws protecting foreign domestic workers, and where the special Arab Kefala-system renders it impossible for an unskilled worker to leave the country or change their employer. It is the story of how poverty leads unprivileged women from developing countries to be deceived and trafficked into slavery.

Welcome to the World

Brian Hill

2016

How does the place you were born affect your future?

130 million babies are born each year, and not one of them decides where they’ll be born or how they’ll live. In Cambodia, you’re likely to be born to a family living on less than $1/day. In Sierra Leone chances of surviving the first year are half those of the worldwide average. In the United States, 1.6 million children are homeless. In Welcome to the World we take a worldwide trip to meet the newest generation, inviting us to reflect on the shocking lottery of childbirth across the globe.

Every Year, Every Hour, Every Minute

Robin Glass

2016

A film about girls' and women's family planning

Every Year, Every Hour, Every Minute makes the urgent case for widespread and safe access to contraceptive services. Access to these services is considered vital for reducing ¼ of all maternal deaths and for establishing women’s right to decide how they want to live their lives. 

Facts of Life

Hapetnak Sarkisyan

2016

A film about health services worldwide

Facts of Life uses stark comparison to illustrate health inequality between countries. Highlighting the bleakness of such startling disparity, the narrator compels the audience to be a part of changing these Facts.

It Started with a Duck

Sara Koppel

2016

How can ducks help women adapt to climate change?

It Started with a Duck, highlights how something as simple as a duck can advance women’s economic empowerment. Through a seemingly unlikely means, this film unpacks how women are able to play a key role in climate change adaptation and help build resilient communities.

One Bride, Seven Cows or a Box of Heroin

Contrabas Video

2016

What is the impact of the early forced marriage of girls?

One Bride, Seven Cows or a Box of Heroin weaves together stories of the forced marriage of young girls from Sudan, Vietnam and Afghanistan. The striking similarity of the girls’ experiences highlight the prevalence of this practice across the world. 

One Extra Year

Gary George Clotario

2016

Why is girls' access to education so important for gender equality?

One Extra Year uncovers the myriad of ways in staying one extra year in school benefits both the girls themselves and the wider society. Acknowledging the numerous barriers which inhibit girls continued learning, this film makes a powerful case for greater investment in girls education.

Playing the Game

Clara Kokseby & Julie Hindkjær

2016

Why is women's political participation and leadership necessary for gender equality?

In the form of an imagined letter to her Father, a woman details how systemic gender inequality excludes women from positions of power. The letter openly asks, how women can become a part of these spaces, calling on the listener to help make this possible.

Striving for Utopias

Kasper Møller Jensen & Joachim Berg Nielsen

2016

How has women's sexual liberation affected gender equality?

Striving for Utopias explains how over millennia, every society on earth has suppressed women’s sexual rights and bodily freedoms. Laying bare the insidious effects of sexist laws, this film calls for the creation of a Utopia in which women’s sexual liberation is finally realised. 

The Benefits of a Toilet

Simon Nørredam

2016

How does access to sanitation affect women and girls around the world?

The Benefits of a Toilet uses clever animation to uncover the various benefits of something the Western World takes for granted; access to a toilet. The stark inequality of access to adequate sanitation is revealed to disproportionately affects girls and women; impeding their learning, ability to work and even their safety.

What Ami Did Not Know

Antonio Nardella

2016

An animated film about maternal and newborn health

What Ami Did Not Know is a thought-provoking look at the prevalence of maternal mortality in developing countries. From the perspective of the new-born Ami, the inequality of access to maternal care is laid bare.

What If?

Caroline Sascha Cogez

2016

A film about girls' and women's economic empowerment

What if? poses a series of hypothetical questions, which ask how the world would be different if women were treated equally to men in the world of work. The narrator speculates that closing the gendered gaps in labour participation and wages, would lead to a fairer, wealthier and more equal society.

Advice to Men

2016

Around Copenhagen, Danes give advice to men about how they can be allies in the fight for gender equality.

Female Rolemodel

2016

Around Copenhagen, Danes talk about their female role models. 

If you would give one piece of advice to men - what would it be?

2016

If you were to give one piece of advice to men– what would it be?

What challenges are women facing?

2012

Around Copenhagen, Danes reflect on the challenges women face today.

What obstacles do women face today?

2016

Around Copenhagen, Danes tell us what obstacles women still face to equal treatment today.

Who is your female role model?

2016

Around Copenhagen, Danes tell us who their female role model is and why.

Documentaries

Our preeminent documentary strand is curated annually and distributed through BBC World News and to over 70 local broadcast partners. These films are not available to watch online, but you can read more about each of the films in our series here:

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6 DOCUMENTARY FILMS /
70+ BROADCASTERS / 700 MILLION VIEWERS / LAUNCHING OCTOBER 2018

Using the power of strong storytelling as the foundation of the campaign, six compelling and informative documentary films will uncover the lives of men, women and children living as slaves in all corners of the world. Whether it is the deeply flawed Kafala System in the Middle East or the prolific number of children bought and sold in India, the WHY SLAVERY? series will shine a light on the millions of lives lived in the shadow of enslavement.Following the unprecedented success of Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? THE WHY is creating a ground-breaking new cross-media project that asks why slavery remains so endemic in the 21st Century.We aim to create the largest ever public media campaign about modern slavery reaching an unprecedented number of people through broadcast partners, online engagement, and in public spaces like schools, libraries, museums factories, and even football stadiums.

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT

“Equality isn’t too much to ask. I wish that young women around the world will realise that they have endless power and that they deserve endless opportunity. No one should ever tell them otherwise.”
- Oh Land - Danish Artist / created music for the WHY WOMEN?
What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Impact

To ensure the WHY WOMEN? campaign had maximal impact THE WHY collaborated with libraries and schools, and galleries and museums around Denmark. Many influential women got involved with the campaign.

Online

34 000 impressions on Twitter during the Women Deliver Conference + More than 100 000 FILM views on Facebook in May 2016.

On Television

25% of the Danish population watched at least one of the WHY WOMEN? documentaries or short films.

In Museum & Galleries

WHY WOMEN? films were screened at: The Women Deliver Conference/ The National Museum of Denmark/ Kunsthall Charlottenburg/ AROS - Aarhus Art Museum/ The Women’s Museum and The Royal Library, and across 50 libraries in Denmark.

To find out more about our impact download the individual impact reports under materials

COLLABORATION

Are you interested in becoming part of WHY STORIES?
Join us

As a Broadcaster

Show WHY STORIES? and become part of a global network of broadcasters. We operate with sliding-scale fees dependent on ability to pay. We donate World Stories free of charge to most broadcasters in low and middle-income countries. 

As a Filmmaker

Tell your story to a global audience: we are constantly on the lookout for good films. If you have film you think could be part of WHY STORIES? let us know. World Stories films are paid a standard license fee to cover worldwide distribution.

As a Supporter

Support us to extend access to independent factual films about the key global issues facing the world today. We work with a wide range of partners to extend access to independent factual films to audiences around the world.

Outreach

In addition to the broadcast of Why Slavery? films we are working with schools, universities, non-profit organizations and film festivals around the world to ensure the films reach a broad and diverse audience.

upcoming Events

October

 

18

-

2018

UN Association Film Festival

Screening of North Korea’s Secret Slaves: Dollar Heroes

Where: 

Brussels

October

 

19

-

2018

Free Film Screening: A Woman Captured

Join us for a free screening of the award-winning film: A Woman Captured - 16:45 in Cinemateket

Where: 

Cinemateket, 55 Gothersgade, 1123 Copenhagen

October

 

22

-

2018

Free Film Screening: Jailed in America

Join us for the free screening of Jailed in America, from Academy award-winning Director Roger Ross Williams.

Where: 

Cinemateket 55 Gothersgade, 1123 Copenhagen

October

 

26

-

2018

Free Film Screening: Maid in Hell

Join us for a free film screening of Maid in Hell, followed by a Q&A with the director Søren Klovborg.

Where: 

Cinemateket, 55 Gothersgade, 1123 Copenhagen

Want to be part of the WHY SLAVERY? campaign & put on your own event?

GET INVOLVED

Collaboration

Are you interested in taking part in the ASK WHY? FILM CLUB?
Join us

As a School

As a Student

As a Partner

Materials

ADVISORY BOARD

Broadcasters

Partners