Wisconsin Women Making History

Women and Girls Lead

The Wisconsin Women Making History Project is part of the national PBS/ITVS Women and Girls Lead multi-year initiative.  Women and girls everywhere are becoming leaders in business, the arts, science, and politics – yet they lack equal opportunities worldwide.  Women and Girls Lead responded to this gap with a public media campaign that used documentary films to showcase extraordinary women and girls who are changing the world.  In collaboration with NGOs, public television, and media partners, Women and Girls Lead engaged audiences and sparked activities that promoted leadership development, violence prevention, and economic empowerment.

Wisconsin women and girls have historically stepped into leadership roles, worked to improve their communities, and innovated in science, the arts, business and governance.  The Wisconsin Women Making History Project will create an online hall of honor, featuring stories of significant Wisconsin women of note or who represent the vital role women have played in the history of Wisconsin.  Through partnership with a number of statewide organizations and events, communities will become in engaged in honoring the women of Wisconsin’s past and guiding tomorrow’s leaders. 

In parternship with the UW Women's Studies Consortium and the Wisconsin Humanities Council, Wisconsin Public Television's Reel to Real program will offer a series of films focusing on women around the world.  These films are available for public screenings, and we will work with your organization to find a subject matter expert to engage your event attendees in a discussion about the topics addressed in the film.  Funds will be available from the Wisconsin Humanities Council to cover speaker fees.

The featured films are:

Wisconsin's Nazi Resistance: The Mildred Fish-Harnack Story
Mildred Fish-Harnack, a Wisconsin native who was the only American woman executed on the direct orders of Adolf Hitler. The documentary follows Fish-Harnack from birth in Milwaukee to 1930s Germany and to her eventual arrest and execution in 1942.

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
From the comic book superheroine to the blockbusters of today, this film offers a fun and witty look at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.

Solar Mamas
This documentary tells the story of Jordanian wife and mother Rafea, who is leaving home for the first time to attend a college in India that is training rural women to become solar energy engineers.

MAKERS: Women Who Make America
MAKERS tells the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy.

The Invisible War
The Invisible War features interviews with veterans from multiple branches of the United States Armed Forces that recount the events surrounding their assaults. Their stories show many common themes, such as the lack of recourse to an impartial justice system, reprisals against survivors instead of against perpetrators, the absence of adequate emotional and physical care for survivors, the unhindered advancement of perpetrators' careers, and the forced expulsion of survivors from service.

This program is a partnership of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Historical Society, UW Women's Studies Consortium, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Library Association.

Here are some ways to learn more about our Reel to Real project and Women and Girls Lead:

Reel to Real screening events

Wisconsin Historical SocietyWisconsin Library AssociationWisconsin Humanities Council

UW Women's Studies Consortium