Ten years ago, the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Documentary for its powerful depiction of the nonviolent women’s movement that helped bring an end to Liberia’s bloody civil war. Since its release, producers and directors have taken up the challenge to tell the stories of the often-invisible lives of women in conflict – producing stories in countries like Bosnia, Libya, Afghanistan, Colombia, Pakistan and Rwanda. These films have brought forward women’s critical voices to the stories of war and peace, and amplified the global agenda of Women, Peace and Security.
Every March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide as a time to reflect on the achievements and contributions of women. In 2018, USIP will celebrate the day by hosting an event where filmmakers and policy advocates discuss how film has been an innovative tool for translating policy frameworks into social change. Documentaries and movies can take the tenets of policy frameworks and make them tangible. Civil resistance is most successful when women are engaged, and seeing this in live action can catalyze movements into action. This event brought together the worlds of film and policy to celebrate the progress that has been made in advancing women’s roles in peace and security, and spreading their stories.
Review the conversation on Twitter with #WomensDayUSIP.
Kathleen Kuehnast, moderator
Director, Gender Policy and Strategy, U.S. Institute of Peace
Maria Stephan, moderator
Senior Advisor on Nonviolent Action, U.S. Institute of Peace
Filmmaker & President and CEO, Fork Films
Executive Director, Just Vision
Co-Founder and Executive Director, International Civil Society Action Network
Executive Director, Peace is Loud
Senior Strategist, Independent Television Service (ITVS)