Female — The World War on Women (working title) is a documentary film addressing the various forms of violence and abuse suffered by women on every continent around the globe. While exploring personal stories illustrating an array of issues such as the feminization of poverty, gendercide, female genital mutilation, child marriage, and the objectification and exploitation of women, experts seek to identify the cultural mindsets and traditions that result in such human rights violations while activists offer hope of change through viable solutions.
The devaluation and subjugation of women worldwide continues today on a scale never seen before in history. What kind of epidemic is at the root of such widespread and methodical violence targeting half of the world’s population?
The answer is misogyny: the hatred of women, or the belief that women are inferior to men. It comes in many forms, including social discrimination, physical abuse, legal discrimination, and the generalized objectification of women. Misogynistic cultures often give husbands and fathers full legal rights over their wives and daughters.
Misogyny can be found in every part of the world, where one out of three women will become a victim of violence in her lifetime. In many parts of the developing world, however, misogyny is even more deeply woven into the fabric of the family and social culture – making the violence inescapable.
Female – The World War on Women will explore this conspiracy of silence; this epidemic of criminal cultural entrenchment, from the most compelling angles, enlisting the help of some of the world’s leading authorities who will bring the issues into bold focus.
Some of the possible stories to be explored:
Feminization of Poverty
Poverty today has a woman’s face. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production. Two out of three people living in extreme poverty in the world today are women.
Female Feticide and Infanticide
More girls are killed in India and China each year than are born in the U.S. as a result of gendercide. And despite growing awareness about the plight of millions of girls being killed every year, the practice continues to increase. The cultural preference for sons, combined with the One Child Policy in China and dowry practices in India, has resulted in a female genocide that far outnumbers the lives lost in all of the major genocidal events of the 20th Century combined.
Female Genital Mutilation
According to the World Health Organization, about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation. In Africa, an estimated 101 million girls ten years old and above have suffered this brutal non-medical procedure believed to reduce a woman’s libido and ensure premarital virginity and marital fidelity. But the price paid by those who suffer this brutal practice is a lifetime of pain, infections, increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths and often infertility.
Early Marriage/Child Brides
It is estimated that as many as 100 million girls will be given as child brides in early marriage over the next decade. Child brides are the victims of cultural “norms” that turn a blind-eye to the unspeakable sexual exploitation and rape of little girls made legal through marriage. Neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers, these girls are at far greater risk of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, becoming infected with HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence. With little access to education and economic opportunities, they and their families are more likely to live in poverty.
Rape in War
Rape: The physical, social, mental and emotional weapon of war targeted at defenseless women and young girls.According to the United Nations, women can face devastating forms of sexual violence during times of war, which are sometimes deployed systematically to achieve military or political objectives.
One of the greatest untold stories of violence and abuse against women of our time is that of over 80 million women thrown away today in the brutal aftermath of their husbands’ deaths. Tossed out like an unwanted garment, they are left to fend for themselves in the face of strong social stigmas that ensure they will not find work or a friendly hand up. Left with few options, they often must resort to prostitution or begging. Subjected to social isolation, rape or murder, forced into prostitution or remarriage, victims of property theft and all kinds of physical and psychological abuse, hope is lost and their lives become a daily hell.
What is the answer?
Woven throughout stories that capture the greatest forms of violence against women in the world today, the narrative of activists and experts will explore the hope for change seen in the inspirational stories of those who are leading the way to greater rights and freedoms for women within their own cultures, who are inspiring movements demanding equality and justice.
We’ll also examine movements of the past that have been successful in winning equality and justice, like the International Suffrage movement and the women’s liberation and civil rights movement here in the US. What made those movements successful and where can we find and support similar movements in critical regions of the world today?
Current Project Status
Funds are currently being raised for the development and pre-production phases of Female– The World War on Women. You can be a part of helping to give voice to women who are suffering violence and devaluation and helping tell their stories through this film.