CNN’s award-winning As Equals series is expanding with a new three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The grant will support CNN’s reporting on gender inequality with a particular focus on the world’s least-developed countries and increased programming about the adversities women and girls around the world endure every day.
As Equals was launched in January 2018 with an emphasis on deep enterprise reporting and immersive visual storytelling and a mission to spotlight the acute inequalities and injustices facing women and girls from countries in the global south.
To date, the series has captivated millions of viewers worldwide, and its reporting has prompted real-life impact including the commuted death sentence of teenage bride Noura Hussein and Rwandan opposition politician Diane Rwigara’s release from jail.
CNN will form a dedicated team, including six new hires, to work exclusively on gender inequality for As Equals and build out a global network with key regional partners to tell these stories from around the globe.
The multiplatform series will build on CNN’s already-established reputation for independent, world-class, mobile-first, thought-provoking visual journalism with production across CNN’s digital platforms, including newsletters and audio, two documentaries, as well as local workshops on gender inequality reporting to engage communities.
Women and girls are often the biggest casualties of crises. Already, COVID 19 has led to spikes in gender-based violence and restrictions in access to family planning, while warnings have been issued about the large numbers of girls who may not return to school and the corresponding increase in child marriages that will likely come from that.
As the crisis continues, As Equals will keep the spotlight firmly on women’s issues as part of the global recovery efforts, including their involvement in decision making.
Through an unwavering commitment to elevate underrepresented voices and empower women journalists, the series has received accolades recognizing its stand-out work in advancing taboo subjects, innovative presentation and impactful storytelling affecting change.
The compelling reporting that’s been honored includes an investigation that revealed the Kenyan government’s pledge to send a mission to investigate substantial allegations of abuse and wrongdoing in the country’s Beirut consulate, and an interactive calculator to understand period poverty.
Originally launched in 2018 through a year-long funding project by the European Journalism Centre, the series kept going after 2019 thanks to a resounding commitment by CNN to continue telling the stories of these women’s fight to be treated as equals.