Will 'WOMAN' Return For Season 2? Gloria Steinem's Viceland Docuseries Has More Stories To Tell
One of spring's most gripping, impressive TV series was often painful to watch — Gloria Steinem's Viceland docuseries WOMAN cast a much-needed spotlight on women's issues that don't get nearly enough media attention. During its eight-episode season, young female reporters took viewers all over the globe to educate us about a variety of topics including the Democratic Republic of Congo's epidemic of sexual violence, the murders of First Nations women in Vancouver, and child brides in Zambia. At a time when many of us are striving to ensure that our feminism is intersectional, Steinem's series feels more relevant (and necessary) than ever. So, will WOMAN get a second season on Viceland?
The Season 1 finale airs on June 28, but there's no official word on whether or not it will return for another season. However, it will be a huge disappointment if WOMAN ends for good this week because I can't think of a series that deserves another season as much as this one — because it's important for a number of reasons. The main reason, of course, is that Steinem chose topics that have been largely ignored by the mainstream media. There's no getting around the fact that each episode was incredibly disturbing and contained heartbreaking moments — and they packed a serious punch because I found myself thinking about them for days and weeks after they aired. WOMAN doesn't shy away from the harsh reality that women all over the world are subjected to violence and indignities due to their gender.
But, an equally important aspect of the series is the fact that it shows the incredible strength and resilience exhibited by the women featured. Not only are they still standing, but they're using their painful experiences to help others. So, WOMAN is careful not to depict women solely as victims — it shows them as survivors who have changed and saved lives. In the series premiere, we met "Mama Masika," who was gang raped along with her two young daughters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Like many rape victims in the DRC, she and her children were cast out of their community.
Mama Masika formed a community for women and children who had also been ostracized from their communities after being raped. She offered unconditional emotional support and helped victims get medical attention from Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Denis Mukwege, who specializes in sexual assault and offers services free of charge when patients can't afford medical care. In the First Nations episode, Bernie Williams explains that she founded Sacred Circle in Vancouver after the unsolved murders of her mother and two sisters. She has dedicated her life to helping at-risk women, often working all night to provide both physical safety and emotional support to Vancouver's indigenous women. So, although these episodes are decidedly distressing, they also show us incredibly inspiring women whose strength and compassion are nothing short of amazing.
Two episodes took place in America, reminding us that there are also stories close to home that aren't receiving enough attention. One focused on mothers in prison, while the other spotlighted sexual assault in the military — Vice President Joe Biden joined Steinem onscreen in the latter episode to discuss violence against women at home and abroad. It's a reminder that every time we cast a vote in a local or national election, we should take an extremely close look at what each candidate has done to combat violence against women.
WOMAN's tagline is "Be a Witness." This is such a fitting phrase for the series because it challenges us to use our new knowledge to make a difference in any way that we can. Yes, many of these issues have been previously overlooked — but we can no longer plead ignorance now that we've been witnesses. Whether it's finding volunteer opportunities, donating money, or raising awareness, there's something each of us can do and no contribution of time or money is too small.
Last but not least, WOMAN needs a second season for a sobering but important reason — there are still so many untold stories that need and deserve our attention.