For International Women’s Day 2023: More good men!

Why are we smiling? Given the tenor of women’s news in recent times — FGM, femicide, child marriage, menstrual poverty, and widespread domestic violence — shouldn’t we rather be scowling? Or does this International Women’s Day conjure hope?

The short answer: yes. Above you find me, Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen (founding president of FORWARD for Women, e.V.) and Dr. Mariame Racine Sow (managing director of FORWARD in Germany) happy last Sunday, 5 March 2023, to be answering questions in Frankfurt am Main posed by Sean Collins, creative director of a wide-ranging development documentary series focused on humanitarian projects to end FGM, early marriage, and other abuses through low-cost health and education interventions. Sean invited us to discuss Maa Feew — which means “Everything’s gonna be all right” in Fulani –, a project in Podor, Senegal, that corresponds to his film series’ criteria. We focus on health, education, and ending gender-specific abuses by engaging the community and applying local expertise and knowledge.

Training Badianu-Gokhs is a case in point. These women, already respected health visitors with worthy resumes assisting at births, attending to young brides, caring for infants, counseling on menstruation and against excision receive continuing professional training within a tri-partite effort to increase prosperity in an underserved community. Three pillars include the human right to education, health and equality of opportunity. Among other concrete measures, Maa Feew has constructed a school including a library in partnership with the Bookfeeding Project managed by Carolin von Janowski. To answer the need of young women experiencing harrowing births, in order to bring them in time to save their lives to facilities prepared for such emergencies, Frankfurt’s first aid squad donated and supported shipping a state-of-the-art ambulance.

Sean has written that a film screening of the documentary at the BAFTA is planned for Autumn/Fall 2023, and he anticipates that “the media for development documentary series will reach over 450 million viewers worldwide on premium broadcasters, generating global awareness for low-cost humanitarian interventions and sustainable development challenges (and solutions).”

We plan to meet his team in Senegal and look forward to success. For more information, see


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