March 8, 2016

YouTube to Champion and Empower Women on YouTube Through New United Nations Partnership and Global YouTube Spaces Program

Top Female YouTube Stars Appointed as Change Ambassadors to the United Nations
Top Female YouTube Stars Appointed as Change Ambassadors to the United Nations

Ahead of International Women’s Day, YouTube is championing the diverse community of women on the platform through a global production program across the YouTube Spaces that empowers women both in front of and behind the camera, and a new year-long partnership with the United Nations to appoint top YouTube female creators as the first Change Ambassadors to the UN’s Sustainable development action campaign.

“YouTube has always been a platform where women of all ages and backgrounds can find their voice and tell their stories. Through our global YouTube Spaces program and new partnership with the UN, we'll strengthen female voices on YouTube and around the world,” said Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube.

To inspire female creators and catalyze even more female-driven content on the platform, YouTube has funded a global production program at YouTube Spaces designed to showcase the talents of female creators both in front of and behind the camera. Over the last few months, creators have filmed on sets constructed specifically for this initiative at Spaces in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York, Sao Paulo, and Berlin, producing over 50 videos that spotlight women’s perspectives.  As part of the program, which also included events and workshops, six established YouTube creators, including Anna Akana (US), Alexys Fleming (US), Julia Veiga Faria (Brazil), Em Ford (UK), Nilam Farooq (Germany) and Kuma Miki (Japan) were appointed as Creative Directors with the goal of mentoring emerging creators who also participated in the global video shoots.

YouTube has also partnered with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a leading non-profit organization that works within the entertainment and media community to improve gender depictions on-screen and behind-the-camera. The Institute provided consultations to creators as part of YouTube Spaces program. "Entertainment today often depicts a society where there are far fewer female characters than male characters, and the characters that are female are often more stereotyped. We need more strong female voices represented in media so that this gender balance becomes normal to the young girls who are turning on their screens," said Geena Davis, an Academy Award-winning Actor and founder and Chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media. “By taking this step to empower and represent more female voices on YouTube, I hope that more young girls and women around the world can be inspired to be part of the creative community.”

This inaugural women-led YouTube Space Program will feature productions from Michelle Phan, GloZell, Ali Brustofski, Flavia Calina, Olhos de Nuvens, Ochikeron, mirellativegal and more across a wide array of topics and genres, ranging from women in the workforce, health, science, engineering to music, comedy, and scripted content. Videos from the program will begin rolling out, starting today, on the YouTube Spaces channel, as well as the creators’ own channels. See the playlist on the YouTube Spaces channel.

YouTube has also established a first-of-its-kind partnership with the United Nations to appoint top female creators on the platform as Change Ambassadors, a group of millennial influencers dedicated to fighting for gender equality as part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These women will be the voice of their generation into the UN, rallying their audiences to get behind important issues surrounding gender equality.

"193 countries around the world stood up and made gender equality a priority when they signed the Sustainable Development Agenda last September. To help champion these goals, the UN SDG Action Campaign is excited to work with YouTube to bring together these seven female YouTube influencers as new Change Ambassadors.  We hope to work with these millennial role models to turn influence into action that is both measurable and building capacity at the UN,” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of UN Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign.

The first group of Change Ambassadors features prominent international female YouTube stars including Ingrid Nilsen (U.S.), Jackie Aina (U.S.), Yuya (Mexico), Taty Ferreira (Brazil), Hayla Ghazal (U.A.E), Louise Pentland (U.K.) and Chika Yoshida (Japan). The Change Ambassadors will serve as positive role models within their communities and rally audiences on YouTube by creating video content that raises awareness to eliminate discrimination against women and girls.

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