Population Media Center Video Connects Healthy Environment with Rights of Women and Girls

NGO addresses two crises, ecological overshoot and gender inequality, with one unique solution: entertaining stories.


South Burlington, VT, Oct. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Population Media Center, a U.S. based non-profit producer of entertainment programming designed to advance human rights and environmental sustainability, is in the fifth week of its six week annual campaign, called #GETREEL.

The campaign began on September 12th and will run through October 24th, with the goal of raising $200,000 USD in unrestricted donations in support of Population Media Center (PMC). Donors can register their support through PMC’s secure on-line giving portal, through text messaging, or via check. 

PMC uses the power of entertainment and local story-tellers to advance sustainability, human-rights, and environmental conservation around the world. Founded in 1998, PMC’s programs have impacted over 500 million people in 50 countries.

To date, #GETREEL has benefitted from 109 donors, who have collectively pledged $102,000 to PMC. The theme for the campaign’s fifth week is "Two Crises, One Solution." 

“We must realize that creating the conditions for the social empowerment of women and girls is imperative if we are to achieve global sustainability,” says Joe Bish, PMC’s Director of Issue Advocacy. “Let's address two crises – ecological overshoot and gender inequality -- with one very impactful solution. Let's empower women and girls.

“When women and girls have low social status – in some situations around the world, they are considered mere property – family sizes are often controlled by husbands or in-laws,” continued Bish. “Unsurprisingly, family size then ends up being larger than if women could truly decide for themselves how many children to have and when. Add in fear-inducing rumors, myths, and social taboos against the use contraception in many parts of the world and the resulting injustice is not surprising: disenfranchised women and girls and rapid global population growth.

“By strengthening the human rights and social status of women and girls around the world — including girls’ education and the expansion of choice around family planning information and services — global population will stabilize and start a gradual decline sooner rather than later. No doubt the natural world will applaud this, as will those benefiting from strengthened human health and rights.”

PMC’s entertaining dramas can address these issues directly. For example, Ruwan Dare (“Midnight Rain”) was a 208-episode radio serial drama that aired in four northern states of Nigeria from July 31, 2007 through July 18, 2009. PMC surveys indicated that the program reached more than 12 million people.

At baseline survey, the mean desired number of children for all respondents was 7.43 (females 7.71, males 7.03), which decreased significantly to 5.93 by the endline survey, most notably among females (females 5.39, males 6.96). The likelihood of respondents saying they did not want to have another child was 5.7 times greater at endline compared to baseline, and listeners were nearly two times as likely as non-listeners to think that “people should plan how many children they have.”


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