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Geena Davis Talks Gender Equality at Social Good Summit

Geena Davis Talks Gender Equality at Social Good Summit

 

The negative images of women and girls that pervade the media are sadly nothing new.”When are we going to get over the idea that it’s shocking that women can do things?” actress and activist Geena Davis asked today at the Social Good Summit. Davis, who foundedthe Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, in 2004, also works with the United Nations on issues surrounding gender equality as an official partner ofUN Women.

“It’s an incredibly important goal, not just for the sake of women, but impacting everything that influences us in society,” Davis said discussing the significance of achieving Millennium Development Goal #3, to promote gender equality and empower women.

World leaders adopted the eight Millenium Development Goals, or MDGsin 2000 and ambitiously set 2015 as the deadline for reaching them. Some of the MDGs are on target, many are not, but their existence has become a global clarion call for a cohesive change. MDG #3 and its goal of gender equality touches every aspect of human development — from alleviating poverty to healthcare to education. “It’s become incredibly important for the the UN to talk about gender equality,” Davis said.

A recent study by her institute found that 81% of the characters in PG-13 movies who hold jobs are male. “Of the females, no scientists, lawyers, no one in the medical profession, business, politics,” Davis went down the list. “The more hours of TV girls watch the fewer options she has in life. Boys pick this up too that girls can’t do what boys do.”

Those are pretty grim numbers, and they resonate worldwide. Davistold the story of a recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where women asked her why the US exports “these horrible TV shows around the world.”

“Eighty percent of media consumed worldwide is created in the US, so we are the ones who are exporting the negative portrayal of women around the world,” Davis explained. “We really are helping to support the idea that women are not as important as men…The UN is doing so much work there are so many opportunities to educate girls, but if the message is that women are not equal its tearing down other efforts.”

The Social Good Summit continues through Thursday, so stay tuned for more Care2 coverage.

 

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Photo courtesy of UN Foundation

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47 comments

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1:09PM PDT on Sep 26, 2011

Thanks for what you are doing, Geena.

5:42AM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

I always liked Geena! I love that she's standing up for us and we should all look to her as an example!

11:32AM PDT on Sep 24, 2011

Always loved her movies and I'm a great admirer of her work for women. And she also speaks Swedish, because she lived there a few years as a foregn student. How cool isn't that for a Swede like me?! Go, Geena! I support you all the way!

2:56PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Got to love Geena.

12:47PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Thanks for showing there are strong women.

12:07PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

I'm glad that Geena is able to speak on behalf of women!!~~Great job!!~~Looking towards learning about you and the work you are doing!!~~ :}

2:36AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

A very wise woman!

12:45AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Thanks Geena.

7:58PM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

“The more hours of TV girls watch the fewer options she has in life."
Is this because of uninspiring programming or because it's time spent not doing more productive things? Who is in control of whether or not time is spent watching TV? Not the TV producers...

It's the fault of the US!?
“Eighty percent of media consumed worldwide is created in the US, so we are the ones who are exporting the negative portrayal of women around the world,” Davis explained. “We really are helping to support the idea that women are not as important as men…"

how did that garbage media make it into someone else's country? A more local programming organization bought it on the hope that they will make $ from the advertising - from businesses that do business in that local area, who themselves are hoping the LOCAL PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO WATCH THAT PROGRAM will (and do) buy their products. So if you don't like the programming in your country, blame yourselves, and don't watch the program.

I live in the US and i hardly watch any TV. It is such a waste of time. I prefer more stimulating programming from the more educaitonal channels, and if a topic really is of such interest to me I will research it further on my own away from the TV.

It is the individual that determines what they will be exposed to. If enough of you do it, the businesses will respond. They are merely giving you all what you choose to consume.

5:03PM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

Yay, Geena!

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