Filmed in 15 countries, this collection of video segments spotlights Jasmila Zbanic, Ute Bock, Françoise Gaspard, and 13 other women who are making a difference in Europe and Asia.
• Spain—Hitting the Bottom: This clip profiles Marta and Mar, two women typical of the “new poverty” affecting young people in the region of Catalonia. Making a virtue of necessity, they share chores with their two other roommates and scrounge Barcelona’s streets for discarded food and clothing.
• France—Paris Parity: This clip profiles former Parliamentarian Françoise Gaspard, who campaigned for gender parity within the French Parliament in the 1970s. The parity principle was finally made law in 1999, but representation is still heavily skewed toward males as political parties choose to pay huge fines rather than comply.
• Italy—Rosa: This clip profiles Rosa Carlucci, a victim of spouse abuse and anti-female prejudice. Although she succeeded in escaping to a social services organization with her two teenage sons, the organization refused to believe her story and sent the sons back to the violent husband. The boys subsequently disappeared.
• Austria—Mama Bock: This clip profiles former social worker Ute Bock, founder of the Verein Ute Bock charity. Working tirelessly to ensure that refugees have access to food and shelter, are treated with dignity, and do not lose hope, she has become a mother figure to asylum seekers and human rights activists alike.
• Czech Republic—Choosing Life: This clip profiles lawyer Marie Vodickova, who—in addition to caring for eight adopted children—has started a network of 20 safe houses across the Czech Republic that serve poor and disadvantaged mothers who might otherwise be forced to give up their children.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina—Speaking Out: This clip profiles Bosnian film director Jasmila Zbanic, whose powerful movie Grbavica has helped banish the taboos and prejudice against women raped during the Bosnian War—and has empowered those tens of thousands of women to campaign for official recognition as casualties of war.
• Kosovo—Women of Krusha: This clip profiles 19-year-old Ardiana Shehu, who works with her mother and sisters on her family’s farm in Krusha e Vogel—a village still practically without men, due to the 1999 Serbian military offensive. With training and support, Krusha’s women are courageously rebuilding their lives.
• Macedonia —Biljana from “Alcatraz”: This clip profiles Biljana Smileva, a mother of three working in a textile sweatshop. Fired from her job for publicly criticizing the inhuman working conditions, she is suing for unpaid overtime and unfair dismissal.
• Latvia—Born to Be in Business: This clip profiles Vija Ancane, the successful owner of a bakery, shop, and bread museum in the village of Aglona. She is a beneficiary of a loan program started by the Land and Mortgage Bank to encourage more women to go into business.
• Lithuania —Girls Don’t Cry: This clip profiles Aiste Paskauskaite, a proponent of equality between the sexes who is fighting to dispel the idea that feminism in Lithuania is outdated, aggressive, and man-hating.
CIS and Asia
• Ukraine—Being Positive: This clip profiles Tamila Kotlyarevska, a recovered drug addict with HIV whose Light of Hope Center is helping Ukrainians living with AIDS. Support ranges from legal aid, to prescriptions, to firewood for heating.
• Kazakhstan—Hope for Life: This clip profiles Nagima Plokhikh, a cancer survivor whose Healthy Asia Foundation has championed workplace cancer screening and has teamed up with trade unions campaigning for paid time off for women receiving cancer treatment.
• Uzbekistan—Seeking Happiness: This clip profiles Nuria Turiyeva, deputy head of the Uzbek Women’s Association. Bigamy, although illegal in Uzbekistan, is on the rise as some men see taking a second wife as a symbol of power and prosperity, and she is committed to informing women of their rights.
• China—Geng Liufen’s New World: This clip profiles Geng Liufen, who is changing the status quo in her husband’s home village of Zuji. Shocked by the state of Zuji’s women—isolated, uneducated, and wholly dependent on men—she is helping them get the training and information they needed to transform their lives.
• Japan—A Ticket to Japan: This clip profiles Virgie Ishihara, a Filipina performer who relocated to Japan on an entertainer visa—and ended up forced into hostessing at a Tokyo nightclub. Today, her organization, the Filipino Migrant Center, helps educate Filipinas about their legal rights and how to protect themselves.