International Women’s Day from Video Volunteers

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Dear Friends of Video Volunteers,


Tomorrow is International Women’s Day!  Will you join us in upholding the rights of women in India and around the world?


As you know from the recent Delhi rape case, India has a very long way to go when it comes to gender equality.  There are still far too many violations against women that go unreported and undocumented, and VV exists to shine a light on those cases.  For any country to reach its potential, all women must be free and empowered to speak out against these violations.


I’m attaching a set of videos below for you to look at, that we’re promoting with our distribution partners for International Women’s Day.


The first one is about a 19 year old acid attack survivor named Chanchal.  Four men threw acid on her and her sister while she slept.  This was a direct result of Chancal’s bold move to oppose continuous sexual harassment by the men, who were of a ‘higher’ caste than her.  This story has touched us in a profound way, and we are raising money for her treatment and legal fees.

You can read the blog on her case here:

This video has gotten 30,000 views so far and 30,000 petition signers.  One viewer pledged $2,000, and after the press conference were organized yesterday, it is finally getting media attention – including a 25 minute broadcast on a major channel on Monday night.


If you haven’t seen it already, please watch it here and share the video.

Taking the time to understand Chanchal’s story – and the police failings she’s experienced – is one act of solidarity with her and the countless women who face such vicious attacks.



By pledging your financial support for Chancal you will help her bear her legal and medical costs.  By signing her petition and helping bring her assailants to justice, you will send a strong message that the women of India are fighters who will no longer tolerate the violence that has been inflicted upon them and their girls.


Please join Chanchal, TODAY, by making a financial pledge, by signing her petition, and/or sharing her videos.

Sign the petition:




Here are some more videos produced by VV women community correspondents over the last year.  They are examples of women building power so that International Women’s Day can one day be a worldwide celebration and not the call to action that it must be today.  We hope you take the time to view them.


Child Brides in Maharashtra –

In this video, IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Rohini Pawar interviews two girls who recently saw their friend getting married.  Both are thankful that it wasn’t them.  Rohini was herself married at the age of 15.  “I wanted to be a doctor and all my hopes came crashing down.  I now make videos, a lot of which are on women’s issues.  I want to change things in my society for women – get them equal wages, stop child marriages, help them speak up and stand up for themselves,” She says.


Woman Village “Headman” Brings Change to Rural India –

In most cases where women become heads of the Village Council, their decisions are governed by the men in their family.  Community correspondent Bhan Sahu went out in search for a female village “sarpanch” who had stepped out of the shadows of familial pressures.  This is the story of Sukhvanti bai.


IU Impact, Citizen Journalist Turns Symbol of Women’s Hope –

This is a video which documents how community correspondent Sunita Kasera helped a group of women who were former bootleggers get money they had been promised by the government to start a new business.  In making this video, Sunita was probably one of the first women to enter the excise office in Karauli, Rajasthan, a deeply chauvinistic place.


Child Marriage Must Stop –

12 women who had all been married as children produced this 34 minute video speaking out against child marriage, which they then screened in their villages on wide screen projectors.  This video and project was the beginning of Video Volunteers’ Community Video Unit Program and became the topic of a 30-minute Al Jazeera documentary.


I send you my warmest thoughts and deepest appreciation for all you’ve done for VV.  You are one of VV’s most valued supporters and friends (that’s why you’re getting this mail, which is a break from our regular newsletters) and so we would really appreciate any suggestions for how we can help Chanchal.  Advice for free medical treatment would be especially appreciated – anywhere in the world.



Jessica Mayberry

Founding Director

Video Volunteers – Empowering Community Voices

Phone (US): 646-505-8605; (India) 99235-94636; Watch our videos:

GOT WOMEN? Geena Davis & Jon Turteltaub

Got Women?  A Conversation Between Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media & Jon Turteltaub

Geena Group

On January 15, 2013, we kicked off our 2013 On Revolution Speakers Series with “Got Women?: A conversation between Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media & Jon Turteltaub.”  Based on the research and findings coming out of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Geena and Jon’s lively and candid conversation covered the apparent and prevalent gender imbalance in film and television today.  A call to action for the restructuring of gender representation, Geena highlighted the shocking fact that for every three men on screen, there is only one woman.  Classifying the issue as not a “bad man” problem, but an “everybody” problem, Geena and Jon discussed the need to redefine the standard of how women appear on screen.  The simple solution is – you don’t necessarily need to make films about women, but just add more women in.



Creative Visions at Clear Creek High School


Click here to see how Kathy Got Country!
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Clear Creek High School was honored to have Kathy Eldon from Creative Visions as a guest speaker on campus this week.  Ms. Eldon’s son, Dan Eldon, was tragically killed while covering the Somalian conflict in 1993.  His death was not in vain, as he shared many of his photos, artwork, and dreams through journals he kept.


These journals can be viewed through the traveling exhibit that is on display in Clear Creek ISD High Schools throughout the month of January.  Click here to learn more about Creative Visions and the Dan Eldon exhibit.


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MY Hero Film Festival 2012


1.  Kathy Eldon speaks with Right to Play editor Ryan Suffern




2.  Kathy Eldon and the team behind A Ride With Matt, winner of the Dan Eldon Activist Award: (from left to right) co-producer Deanne Brannen-Jurgenson, Adam Austin, Robert Rippberger, Matt Austin, Kathy Eldon




3.  Rabiya Subedar, from Life of An American Muslim




4.  Elias Glasch and Tyler J. Kupferer, makers of The Girl and The Fox




5.  Graphic of Malala Yousafzai, to whom the festival was dedicated

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