“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.”

- Malala

We love to see women reach the highest levels of decision-making. In 2021, eight countries elected or swore in their first woman Head of State or Government! We are proud to be creating the next generation of women leaders at ConnectHER. In 2021, we continued to put women at the center of the story and we see the positive ripple effects from it every day:

  • With your support, thousands of women and girls received opportunities to thrive through initiatives focused on education, health, leadership and economic independence. Through their lived experiences, our incredible local project leaders showed us how to mobilize, educate and inspire.
  • Through our 2021 Fellowship, ConnectHER Film Festival participants became ambassadors by leading filmmaking, storytelling and digital technology workshops in their communities!
  • We were thrilled with the first cohort of ConnectHER Fellows who have the potential to grow and scale our work exponentially.

On behalf of our team and the women and girls whose lives were uplifted in 2021 due to your generosity, we thank you deeply. Below is just a small example of the impact you made possible!

With thanks and best wishes,

Lila Igram
Founder ConnectHER

ConnectHER 10 Year Anniversary

ConnectHER celebrated our 10-year anniversary in 2021! Whether you’ve been with us from the start or joined us this year, we thank you for being on this journey with us. Take a look back at our partners and Film Festival journey on our timeline.





At this year’s virtual ConnectHER Film Festival, we awarded $36,500 in scholarships to filmmakers with categories like Women & Work and, of course, our Judges’ Choice and runner-up. We screened excerpts from more than a dozen award-winning “Stories Worth Telling,” and watched young filmmakers tuning in from Africa, Asia, and the Americas excitedly accept their awards. Thank you to presenting sponsor Eloise DeJoria, major sponsors the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, HumanAct, WomenServe, and Dolby, and supporting sponsors Six Square, HEB, Leica, and the Thompson Knight Foundation for making this event and these awards that invest in young talent possible.






ConnectHER Fellows

We launched our inaugural ConnectHER Fellows. Our fellows are leading hands-on filmmaking workshops for other young people in their communities, creating advocates for women and girls in the process.

We hosted a virtual event on International Women’s Day 2021 – “Her Voice Matters: Inspiring Global Change Through Women’s Stories.” More than 100 people joined us virtually—from Brazil, DR Congo, the Philippines, Romania, Sweden, and Zimbabwe. At this event we also held our very first PitchFest, a new initiative that invited filmmakers aged 13 to 30 to submit a 90-second video pitching a concept for a ConnectHER-commissioned film. These films create awareness or shine a light on solutions to a problem faced by women and girls. Congratulations to our first winner Liwonga Mahlawe!

In addition, Education Above All hosted a PitchFest and Nadege Cibigo and Halimah Tariq won money to make their pitched films become a reality. Stay tuned for premieres of all these films!

Thank You

Our Gems and Giving Circle made our work possible this year. Thanks so much to the Gems and GC members who give every month!