Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap

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Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap
Jenny Rohrer, 1984
USA | 16 minutes

This rare screening of this remarkable and incredibly timely film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Jenny Rohrer (director), Nancy Meyer (co-producer), Nicole Hollander (cartoonist), Page Gardner (Founder/President, Women’s Voices, Women Vote Action Fund and The Voter Participation Center), Amy Richards (author/activist), and Faye Anderson (filmmaker/public policy consultant).

As America gears up for the presidential election, an undeniable gender gap is apparent between the two candidates. This film was made to mobilize women voters before the 1984 election, when Ronald Reagan was running against former vice president Walter Mondale. The documentary explores the growing difference in the voting patterns of men and women (the gender gap) that could no longer be denied by the mid-1980's. These issues, including equal pay, environmental justice, subsidized childcare, job creation, and healthcare, became wedge issues in Ronald Reagan's America as more and more women joined the workforce. The film tackles the subject of women’s voter participation and  equal rights with both humor and depth.

Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap interweaves testimony by a diverse group of women discussing the issues that matter to them with satirical animated scenes by the cartoonist Nicole Hollander, creator of the comic strip Sylvia. The film was featured at the 1984 Democratic National Convention and screened at the National Convention of the Organization of Women that same year.

The film was a product of the venerable Chicago filmmaking collective, Kartemquin Films, the now 45-year-old institution whose mission is to make socially conscientious documentaries that inspire change in society. Women’s Voices is the result of a collective filmmaking process at a time when women were underrepresented in film production, and were rarely considered producers or directors.

Series: Women’s Film Preservation Fund

Venue: Francesca Beale Theater

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