Segments in this Video

Personal Stories of Women Leaders (02:24)


Women redefined the role of work, marriage, and sex after the sexual revolution. Watch an excerpt of "The Vagina Monologues." Eve Ensler explains the legacy of the play.

"The Vagina Monologues" (02:39)

Ensler describes the inspiration behind the play. When she began to speak to women about their vaginas for research, she uncovered a worldwide crisis of sexual violence towards women. A sexual abuse survivor herself, Ensler's father raped and physically abused her.

V Day (02:17)

Ensler decided she needed to act or she would be no better than a war photographer. Celebrities perform "The Vagina Monologues" once a year as to raise money and awareness; participants include Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek. Translated into 48 languages, the play has been performed in 140 countries.

One Billion Rising (02:51)

Over one billion women in the world have experienced physical or sexual violence. Ensler created the movement to empower women and demand political change to protect sexual abuse victims. One in ten women will be victimized.

Child Brides (03:30)

Families forced over 250 million women into arranged marriages before they turned 15. Experts describe the ramifications of child marriages and why parents give away their daughters. Balkissa's parents tried to sell her to her uncle, but she resisted.

Asking the School Principal for Help (02:26)

The principal contacted a local NGO, which went to court on Balkissa's behalf. Her uncle threatened to kill her and she moved into a women's shelter as a safety precaution. The wedding party returned to Nigeria and Balkissa started college.

Empowering Others (02:43)

Balkissa shares her story with others to change the cultural practices in Niger. The activist spoke to African tribal chiefs and a UN summit about child marriages and young motherhood. Today, only 8% of girls are married under the age of 15.

Reproductive Rights (03:10)

In El Salvador, authorities convict women who they think obtained abortions with aggravated homicide and sentence them with up to 30 years in prison. Morena Herrera protests for "The Seventeen," a group of women currently serving long sentences for having an abortion. Guadalupe received a presidential pardon after serving seven years in prison.

"The Seventeen" (03:07)

Amnesty International petitioned the release of the other women. Herrera explains that rich women leave the country to obtain abortions. Maria-Theresa describes how authorities sentenced her to 40 years in prison for having a stillborn child.

Herrera's Feminist Career (03:13)

Herrera served as a guerilla commander for the rebels in El Salvador and describes the gender divide during the uprisings. The activist hosted a conference for feminists across the country. Uruguay legalized abortion, but it is still banned in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Population Control (03:32)

Most Chinese women favor the one-child policy but object to forced abortions. Lee Yinhe studies how views have changed about sex in China and the increased rate of premarital sex. During the 1960s, women bound their breasts and concealed their period because sex was considered a distraction to building a strong communist state.

Advocating Rights for Transgender Community (02:58)

Authorities told the Yinhe to burn all her copies of "The Subculture of Sadomasochism." The sexologist recently admitted her partner of 18 years is a transgender man. Traditional gender roles still exist in China; if a woman is unwed after she turns 27, she is called a "left-over" and many brides purchase hymen repair kits prior to their wedding day.

Gender Equality (02:36)

Cambridge University started allowing female students 150 years ago. Julia Gillard fights for women's rights and the ability for girls to go to school. The former Prime Minister discusses how her father immigrated when she was four to Australia.

Gillard's Career (04:47)

After being elected deputy leader of the labor party, rivals condemned Gillard's refusal to have children. In 2010, she challenged Kevin Rudd to a leadership ballot and was elected Prime Minister. Tony Abbott gave a speech criticizing her platform while standing beside misogynistic signs— Gillard gave a condemning speech in retaliation.

Changing World (02:00)

Experts and World leaders reflect on the improvements to gender equality in recent years and their hopes for the future.

Credits: Her Story: The Female Revolution—The Personal Story (00:35)

Credits: Her Story: The Female Revolution—The Personal Story

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Her Story: The Female Revolution—The Personal Story

Part of the Series : Her Story: The Female Revolution
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For generations, the personal lives of women around the world have been defined by the expectation that they will be solely wives and mothers. These assumptions were overturned in the twentieth century, and now women are redefining the place of marriage, childbirth, and sex in their lives. In this episode, we meet the women - from the deserts of West Africa – to Beijing – challenging society’s expectations of them, and putting women’s domestic stories on the global agenda.

Length: 48 minutes

Item#: BVL128866

ISBN: 978-1-64023-469-7

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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