Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists travel the globe in search of innovative solutions to empower girls and women.
What if the world was more deeply aware of the serious, often debilitating challenges that hold back many girls and women? What if people were inspired to do something about it?
That’s what the three-part TV series “A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity” attempts to do.
Airing on PBS across the United States on January 26, February 2 and February 9, “A Path Appears” is a follow up to “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which explored the impact of sex trafficking, maternal mortality, sexual violence, microfinance and education on girls’ lives.
For the new series, based on their 2014 book with the same title, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn travel to Boson, Chicago, Colombia, Haiti and Kenya to share harrowing, real-life tales of girls and women suffering from mistreatment, poverty and inequity.
In an attempt to twist fate into positive directions, the series looks at solutions that are often based on care, attention and innovative approaches that are helping women to find new opportunities to empower themselves and use their experiences to improve the lives of others.
Along the way, Kristof and WuDunn are joined by celebrity advocates, including Malin Akerman, Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Jennifer Garner, Regina Hall, Ashley Judd, Blake Lively, Eva Longoria and Alfre Woodard.
“We have an empathy gap in the U.S.,” Kristof told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), describing how he believes Americans tend to deal with poverty, domestic violence and other complex problems.
“I hope that telling some of these stories, putting a face on these issues, will nurture empathy at home and abroad,” Kristof told OPB.
Intel was one of the sponsors of the series, in line with the company’s commitment to economic empowerment of girls and women, according to Suzanne Fallender, director of the Global Girls & Women Initiative at Intel.
“Today 65 million girls are not in school around the world, due to a number of barriers, whether financial or cultural,” she said. “But we know that the potential social and economic benefits of reducing this number are significant. Each year of secondary schooling increases a girl’s future wages by 10-20 percent, and when 10 percent more girls go to school a country’s GDP can increase by 3 percent.”
Fallender said that in recent years Intel has collaborated on a number of projects to raise awareness about the importance of expanding education and technology access for girls and women, including the “Girl Rising” film and global action campaign, which has reached millions of people around the world. She also pointed out the Intel® She Will Connect program which seeks to close the Internet gender gap by connecting women to opportunity through technology.
“We hope “A Path Appears” will inspire individuals and organizations to learn more and start a conversation on innovative ways people can make lives better for others through volunteerism and by leveraging the power of technology,” said Fallender.
“A Path Appears” builds awareness on the importance of women’s empowerment ahead of March 8, which is the 104th International Women’s Day aimed at celebrating women’s economic, political and social achievements. The theme for this year is “Make it Happen” — conversation around the day can be followed and engaged with at #MakeItHappen.
The series airs on PBS across the United States on January 26, February 2 and February 9 on the PBS program Independent Lens. Most stations will air at 10:00 p.m. (check local listings for times).
Article photos by Audrey Hall/Show of Force.