At Women in the World, we believe that personal stories hold immense power. Throughout the year, both on-stage and off, we scoured the world to find the most interesting women — and some men — to share their remarkable tales of success and survival. We were inspired by the story of Monica Singh, who overcame a brutal acid attack to study at a top fashion school; and fascinated by this workout that helps new moms get fit by using their baby as a free-weight. And, of course, we never passed up the opportunity to call out misogyny when we saw it. (We’re looking at you Donald Trump.)
But the year’s best videos encompassed a little bit of all these elements, whether it was tackling weighty topics like sexual assault or getting to know a woman who was truly out-of-this-world. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular video interviews of 2015.
Kangana Ranaut: The New Face of India
Our audience was captivated by Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut’s interview with BBC News reporter Shabnam Mahmood during the Women in the World Summit in London. During the discussion, Ranaut spoke candidly about her childhood—clawing her way to the top of the Indian movie industry—despite cultural beliefs about women in her small town of Bhambla. “In India, it’s a matter of fact that a girl child is seen as a liability,” said Ranaut during her interview. “I didn’t see myself as someones who’s purpose of life is just to find a good enough husband.”
Who’s Winning the Fight Against Sexual Violence in India?
Sexual violence continues to be a major issue facing women around the world and a topic that’s closely followed by our readers. With this in mind, our panel tackling the issue in India continues to be viewed globally. The video features a robust discussion on the state of sexual assault within the country and the government’s ban on India’s Daughter, a documentary about the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi. Panelists include Norah O’Donnell, co-host of CBS This Morning; Barkha Dutt, journalist and consulting editor of NDTV; and feature filmmaker Leslee Udwin who produced the documentary.
During the interview, Udwin recounts the moment she interviewed one of the rapists in jail. “The most shocking thing to me was the media had prepared me for monsters,” said Udwin. “Society’s way of coping with the embarrassment, the shame of what it does to it’s women is to marginalize, to try and pretend that they are just rotten apples in a barrel,” she said. “It is the barrel that is rotten, it’s the barrel that rots the apples, and it is society that is responsible, we are all responsible.”
Cara Delevingne Interviewed by Rupert Everett
The Women in the World community got the chance to experience Cara Delevingne as they’ve never seen her before during an intimate discussion with Rupert Everett. “We are told that if we’re beautiful, if we’re skinny, if we’re successful, famous, if we fit in, if everyone love us, that we’ll be happy, but that’s not entirely true,” Delevingne admitted. “This is what I want to talk about basically.” Delevingne went on to discuss her struggles as a young teen, the dangers young women face navigating the modeling industry, and recounted her debilitating struggle with depression and suicide.
Indian Superstar Aamir Khan Tackles Taboos, One Show at a Time
India’s biggest moviestar joined the stage with author Zainab Salbi to discuss his show, Satyamev Jayate, a social issues program that has garnered an audience of 500 million viewers. “Every day you read about injustice, poverty, and you really want to do something, and I realized I should do what I know best, which is storytelling, to enrich discussion on the issues we face as a society,” Khan told the audience while on stage during the Women in the World Summit in New York City. The Bollywood star also opened up about his early childhood and being inspired by his mother.
Meet Bina48 the Humanoid Robot
Our first-ever interview — but probably not our last — with a real robot continues to be one of the most memorable of the year. Bina48, a slightly sassy humanoid robot is one of the most advanced in the world. Bina was created by a robotics firm at the request of Dr. Martine Rothblatt, one of the highest-paid female CEOs in the United States, and modeled on her real-life wife, Bina Rothblatt. During the interview, Bina chats about her relationship with humans, feeling sad, and being startled when looking at herself in the mirror.
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