Empowering Media That Matters
Home >> Blog >> Media Impact >> Designing for Impact - Case studies (Continued): Lioness

Designing for Impact - Case studies (Continued): Lioness


Lioness tells stories that would otherwise have been lost to history. Jesse Ellison, NEWSWEEK

How did a group of female support soldiers – mechanics, supply clerks and engineers – end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war?

In “Lioness” directors Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers offer an unprecedented look at war through the eyes of the first women in U.S. history to be sent into direct ground combat in violation of official policy. By focusing on five women who served as part of Team Lioness in Iraq and following their return home, the film highlights the unique issues that confront women as soldiers and veterans.

This week we look at this amazing film and examine the mechanics behind it. The case study by Barbara Abrash analyzes how the movie successfully brought the issue of gender inequality for military women into the public eye, and gradually influenced policymaking. Released in 2008, “Lioness” was directly referenced in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act concerning training and documentation of women’s combat service. In March 2011, the Pentagon Commission recommended that the Department of Defense eliminate policies excluding women from combat, as well as other barriers and inconsistencies.

Read the complete case study:



Also, for those who want to see the film, a copy is available in AU library. Please go to



Other case studies featured in the report will be available during the couse of this month:

Oct. 21: Not in Our Town

Oct. 28: A Lion in the House

Nov. 4: The Line

Nov. 11: Lioness

Nov. 18: Out In The Silence

Nov. 25: State Of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism

Stay tuned!

For more information or to download the report, please visit: