Netflix and UN Women have launched Because She Watched – a special Netflix collection of series, documentaries, and films to celebrate International Women’s Day. The collection, which will be available all year, is curated by female creators from behind and in front of the camera – including Sophia Loren, Janet Mock, Salma Hayek, Yalitza Aparicio, Millie Bobby Brown (pictured), Laurie Nunn, Lana Condor, Petra Costa and Ava DuVernay.
“This collaboration is about taking on the challenge of telling women’s stories and showing women in all their diversity. It’s about making visible the invisible, and proving that only by fully representing and including women on screen, behind-the-camera and in our narratives overall, society will truly flourish,” said Anita Bhatia, UN Women Deputy Executive Director.
“Having a world where everyone is truly represented is about true democracy. And truly seeing ourselves allows us to envision endless possibilities for ourselves and each other”, said actress Laverne Cox. “Orange Is the New Black is the first project where I felt genuinely empowered as a woman thanks to the woman at the helm of the show, Jenji Kohan, and the many women directors, writers, producers, and crew members as well as the stories that centered diverse women in an unprecedented way. This show created a space and platform for me as a black openly trans woman that created space for other openly trans women of all races to be truly seen in the depth of our humanity”.
Every title in the collection will be labeled ‘XXXX’s Women’s Day Pick’ so members can easily see who picked which story. In addition, members will be able to choose from a selection of ‘Because She Watched’ profile icons to celebrate their favourite female characters from the collection.
“TV and film have the power to reflect and shape popular culture, which is why we believe it’s so important that more people see their lives reflected in storytelling”, said Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. “Our research has shown that inclusion behind the camera leads to greater inclusion on screen. We’re encouraged that last year, 20 per cent of the directors of Netflix original films were women and we are excited to celebrate these female creators on International Women’s Day. There’s still more to do to reach equality, but by recognising female talent from around the world, we hope more women will feel encouraged to tell their stories, pushing that number even higher.”