Half the Sky Movement turns oppression into opportunity for women
Alarming statistics from the United Nations capture a global issue of gender inequality, but what can be done to fix it?
The Half the Sky Movement, inspired by Pulitzer Prize journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is a new campaign that aims to shed light on women's issues, and provide concrete steps on how to help fight women's oppression. By using new technologies and social media to bring together videos; websites; games; and blogs, Half the Sky hopes to raise global awareness and inspire change.
Its chief documentary, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, was filmed in ten countries and exposes the hardships committed against women around the world. Some of the topics include, gender-based violence; economic empowerment; education; forced prostitution; maternal mortality; and sex trafficking.
Simmons College shares Half the Sky's mission by empowering women with education and classes specifically designed to tackle global issues of gender inequality. Professor Shelley White teaches International Health, an undergraduate sociology course that focuses on how global gender inequalities adversely affect health outcomes for women. Students learn topics ranging from the commercial sex trade, to the censorship and manipulation of family planning information; to the inequitable burden of domestic work that often prevents women for gaining economic independence.
"My hope is that students leave my class with a deep and nuanced understanding of the interconnectedness of girl's and women's human rights with the realization of global health advancement," says Professor Shelley White.
"Half the Sky" will be shown as a two-part special presentation on PBS on Oct. 1 & 2 at 9:00 p.m..
Interested in joining the movement? Become a Half the Sky campus ambassador and help hold a screening and discussion of the documentary on campus. Be sure to check out more information on Half the Sky Movement and follow @half on Twitter and Facebook.