“Violence against women threatens the lives of more young women than cancer, malaria or war. It affects one in three women worldwide. It leaves women mentally scarred for life — and it is usually inflicted by a family member.”
With these words, Annie Lennox, the British singer and social activist, presents a new global series of investigative television documentaries called Women on the Frontline that begins on the global satellite TV channel BBC World today, 18 April 2008.
The seven half-hour films shine a light on violence against women and girls in different parts of the world – East and West, North and South. The series takes the front to homes, villages and cities of our world where a largely unreported war against females is being waged.
The films cover Nepal, where thousands of women are trafficked each year; Turkey, where killing in the name of honour continues; Morocco, where women political activists who have survived torture and imprisonment testify before a government truth and reconciliation commission; the DRC, where women bear the brunt of a 10-year war in the eastern provinces; Colombia, where women have been tortured in the shadow of a guerilla war; Mauritania, where women who have been raped may go to prison; and Austria, where, under a new law, perpetrators of domestic violence are forced to leave home.
Nepal: A Narrow Escape
Turkey: Killing in the Name of Honour
Morocco: Never Again
Democratic Republic of Congo: Find a Word for It
Austria: Showing the Red Card
Mauritania: No film name known yet
Colombia: Justice in the Region of Death
On the Frontline… is a ‘vehicle’ for independent producers to tell compelling stories about the people who uphold civil society where it is most at threat. The strand started with the 2006 pilot series Doctors on the Frontline, a profile of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) field doctors made by Dev TV film-makers.
Since then, the series has covered villages battling desertification and land degradation, nurses and para-medics on humanitarian missions in hot spots of the world, and children living with social and environmental disintegration.
“On the Frontline has gone behind the lines with rebels and filmed among violent street gangs but this time we’ve taken the frontline mostly into the home, where even after 20 years in production, I’m still shocked to see how many obstacles lie between women and equality, and the violence they must still endure,” said Robert Lamb, Executive Director of the series.
A number of UN agencies, including UNFPA and UNIFEM, donor countries such as Austria, non-governmental organizations and other partners provided information and support for the latest series of Women on the Frontline.
Soon after its initial run on BBC World, the series will be distributed in the Asia Pacific region by TVE Asia Pacific.