Just appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Commission on the Status of Women, actress Geena Davis is probably better known for her acting chops than the Institute on Gender in the Media that she created several years ago.
While she received an Oscar for her role in the film â€œThe Accidental Tourist,â€ most fans remember her better for her daring role as a brave housewife gone rogue in â€œThelma and Louise.â€ Itâ€™s fitting that her fans have an on-screen image of Davis as a strong woman considering Davisâ€™s interests in supporting women and presenting strong, healthy images of women and children in the media.
The nonprofit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media works together with the group See Jane to engage â€œfilm and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters and reduce gender stereotyping in media made for children 11 and under.â€œ Davis notes that the representation of women in the media is a skewed one, with far more male characters than female. Those female characters that do appear are often â€œtoo skinny and too sexyâ€ says Davis.
The Institute is currently working on a study of G-rated films and images in childrenâ€™s television programming (which will document the years 2004-2010), which is due to be released later this year.
Davis also works with the United Nations (UN) Development Fund for Women on this issued in the hope of changing the way that media â€œrepresents women and girls, to encourage media to present and investigate issues of grave importance to women, and to use a â€˜genderâ€™ lens when reporting.â€