2018 Festival Speakers

Maria Cavalcanti

Maria Cavalcanti, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pro Mujer will open the Festival with the presentation of the annual Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is free to the public.

The lecture was dedicated to the memory of Bonni Curran in 2013 when she was tragically killed in an accident. A physician, loving mother and wife, Curran was a prominent philanthropist committed to working on behalf of women and children around the world.

The mission of Pro Mujer is to provide poor women in Latin America with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and futures for their families through microfinance, business training and health care support.   Latin America has the highest rates of income inequality in the world. Women experience overwhelming levels of gender-based violence, chronic health problems and discrimination. The organization currently operates in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua.

Cavalcanti has more than 25 years of professional experience advancing women and working with a wide range of business and non-profit organizations across Latin America as well as in the U.S., Western Europe and India. Visit promujer.org for more information.  Her lecture will focus on the 2018 Festival theme, “Women on the Margins.”

The Festival will feature two other internationally known speakers at two separate POV Breakfasts for donors $500 and above. To attend, please donate.

Dr. Henia Dakkak

Dr. Henia Dakkak is the Senior Advisor at the Humanitarian and Fragile Contexts Branch of the Programme Division of UNFPA – the United Nations agency for reproductive health and rights. With over 30 years of extensive humanitarian and development experience, she will speak on the growing need for the work done by UNFPA’s Humanitarian Support activitiesIn 2017, UNFPA supported 16 million people affected by crides, most of whom were women and adolescent girls. To learn more about the work of UNFPA, visit www.unfpa.org

Susan Sygall

Susan Sygall is a MacArthur Fellow and expert in the area of international development, educational exchange and leadership programs for persons with disabilities. She is the CEO and Founder of Mobility International USA (MIUSA), whose mission is to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. Since its founding in 1981, MIUSA has built an extensive network of over 2,300 alumni from over 135 countries. To learn more, visit www.miusa.org


About the Festival

The Family of Woman Film Festival was established in 2008 to raise awareness of the work of The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the leading global agency working to ensure that all women and girls have access to reproductive health care, education, and basic human rights. Five feature length documentaries and dramas from around the world are presented each year, focusing on the status of women in different cultures. Past Festival themes have focused on critical international issues, such as the effects of war on women and the role of women in the Arab Spring movement. Throughout the Festival week, filmmakers of award-winning films, the subjects of these films, and international speakers, engage with the community through free public lectures and programs at local schools. In 2015, the Festival launched a new partnership with Women Deliver, an international advocacy organization for women and girls’ health, rights and wellbeing. Family of Women films have also been presented at a satellite Festival in Chicago, as well as in Boise, through a partnership with Boise State University.>>more