'Overlooked': The New York Times Writes Obituaries of Famous Women It Previously Failed to Publish

For International Women's Day, the Times Debuts New 'Truth' Ad and Effort Acknowledging Important Women of the Past

Published On
Mar 08, 2018

Editor's Pick

For International Women's Day, The New York Times shines a spotlight on overlooked women, in a new ad for "The Truth as Hard" campaign and an editorial project featuring obituaries the publication previously failed to write. The new spot highlights the publication's reporting on women's issues, such as Rukmini Callimachi's reporting on ISIS' systemic sexual abuse of Yazidi women, Mona El-Naggar's documentary of the first women in Saudi Arabia to run for office and Dionne Searcey's reporting on the teenage girls who were thrown into Boko Haram suicide missions, yet survived.

The spot debuts alongside The Times' ongoing Overlooked project, in which it will publish the obituaries of notable women such as investigative reporter Ida B. Wells, poet Qiu Jin and photographer Diane Arbus, whose stories the Times had not covered at the time of their deaths.

The feature introduction explains, "Since 1851 The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female. Charlotte Brontë wrote "Jane Eyre"; Emily Warren Roebling oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubalatransfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now."