“Extraordinary women: a project of human solidarity where women are the protagonists”
We are loyal and committed to contributing to gender equality, not only in the audiovisual industry but also in all sectors of society. At WAWA we have just achieved a great challenge and our biggest dream: the production of our first original series, called ‘Extraordinary women.’ A journey through 16 stories in only eight episodes, produced by Carolina Cordero and María Eugenia Muci, and hosted by María Elena Useche, who is also the executive producer.
Since we wanted to show more about this important project, we interviewed a great woman and professional: Giselle Gonzalez Villarút, the CEO of SERTV. Thanks to her, WAWA agreed to the broadcast of ‘Extraordinary Women’ in Panama last October 2020.
FM – Why and how did you get interested in the Extraordinary Women project?
GG – I have always thought that men and women should be equally valued and recognized, even though we have our natural gender differences. In general, Latin American shows only focus on the efforts of male heroes, leaving behind our heroines. These low-profile heroines also make great visible efforts while changing lives and transforming society.
Extraordinary Women is a kind project film during a global pandemic that is redefining the present and the future and forces you to reevaluate the identity of women. In Extraordinary Women, we want to create positive female role models that our girls, teenagers, and women of all ages could imitate. It is a project of human solidarity where women are the protagonists.
We need to change our minds and be more aware. Only by doing that we can show more empathy and solidarity towards others and be more united as human beings, so we can live and have a peaceful coexistence where the well-being of everyone is guaranteed.
FM – What else caught your attention?
GG – From the television point of view, it caught my attention the fact that this alliance with SERtv will lead us towards the achievement of a great goal: becoming a benchmark TV channel not only for the country but for the entire region. This TV channel’s quality content will surely add value to the audience and all citizens, and in that way, we will be reaffirming our commitment to contribute to gender equality and our purpose of being a carrier for social transformation.
FM – Could you tell us a bit about the SERtv channel’s plan with the series?
GG – Being a franchise, we will adapt the international format to local stories in order to pay tribute to our heroines. Our heroines will be Panamanian women from very different social backgrounds, who invest their time in changing lives for good and help make the world a better place… Long story short, women who leave a mark for their contribution on issues such as education, racial and gender equality, health, environmental conservation, childhood rescue, and so on. These are stories that will not only touch your heart but inspire you, the audience, and all the citizens. Panama’s ‘Extraordinary Women’ will have the same high quality of any other SERTV productions. Our goal and dream with this project is simple. We want these stories to create such a great impact on the audience that some of them win their place in the second season of the international format of ‘extraordinary women’, so people outside Panama could watch them too.
FM – How do you plan to spread the word to the audience in Panama?
GG – The spirit and essence of the show cannot stay only on the TV screen. It must transcend and become a traveling platform in new and different places such as universities, schools, and libraries. It has to be the center of attention and main topic for forums –in person and on digital platforms- that provoke community discussions that lead to contributions and changes. This show must provoke and that is exactly what we are going to do. We will use it to set a good example and role model for the creation and copy of many more extraordinary women.
FM – From your point of view, how do you see the current performance of women in society and what is the function of the media to raise awareness about the female role?
GG – Without any doubt, women have made room for themselves in very important spaces. They have become leaders and hold decision-making positions. Women are fundamental pillars to improve the quality of all countries’ economy and the life of their citizens, proving that gender equality also reduces poverty rates. Many relevant studies have determined that companies with women in their executive positions are 40% more profitable than those that do not include women in those areas. That is why I always affirm that the challenge we have is to prepare ourselves more every day and support our girls and adolescents in our countries to invest in education. We cannot aspire to fairness without preparation, that is the first step.
In this very moment, the role of the media is to make room for debate. Through the media, we can analyze these extraordinary women models that we are trying to make visible. We want them to become the social imaginary and popular belief about what a woman should be, we want them to be an accepted stereotype of what success should look like. We must have a moment of introspection in order to know what type of societies we want to build and live in. And after this global pandemic, we can start rebuilding our society. And why after? Because this pandemic is an incredible historical event that is allowing us to take a turn and change the direction towards the world we want. In this new world it is necessary that we fight for more equitable rights. Women should be seen as capable and empowered and not vulnerable and submissive. We do not have much time but we are already rethinking, executing, and designing the stories we want to tell not only for entertainment but also to educate the audience. I believe that ‘Soul’, the Disney movie, is a good example of that introspection, materialized in an extraordinary and successful film.
We greatly appreciate and thank Giselle for her commitment and for the opinions she has shared with us. Even though this pandemic is forcing us to experience some atypical circumstances, we decided to join and participate in this great team effort. Adding our voice to the voices of such wonderful anonymous women-heroines, in a series that at heart is a tribute to all women, and that we hope reaches the audience, connects with it and manages to cross borders.