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As a chinese proverb says, “Women hold up half the sky”, however it is obvious with a little investigation to the global landscape that they, in fact, unequally bare more abuse and exploitation than their male counterparts. This is what New York Times writers Nicholas Kristoff and his wife Sheryll WuDunn set out to document in their book, and now documentary, “Half the Sky“.
I read the book a few years back and was so excited to watch the documentary, which began yesterday at 9pm EST on PBS, with the second 2-hour half airing tonight at the same time, same place. If you have any opportunity to watch, I guarentee you will not regret it, and although your heart may be broken, your spirit will be rejuvinated by all of the lives who are pouring themselves out to make a difference in female lives around the world!
Stories of individual women and girls, both those of heartbreak and powerful inspiration, break through indifference and reveal the capacity of the human spirit to endure unspeakable things, but also the amazing possibility of being healed through unrelenting love. These stories empower readers and viewers alike to realize that if survivors of trafficking and abuse can go on to seek and save others in their past situations, than how much can we do in our place of opportunity and priviledge with our voice, our time, and our gifts? These issues demand attention and the political as well as financial will to make significant change, but the truth is that we can! So often these such stories and problems in our world seem too large to do much about, but being overwhelmed by issues generally paralyzes any and all action all together. It starts with baby steps, and the realization that every life saved and changed makes all the difference in the world to that one life. If you are interested in getting involved in any of the organizations that Half the Sky highlights or wish to donate to this growing movement, you can do so here.
Women are agents for change; these women on the other side of abuse, the empowered ones, change and shape their communities, impacting generations to come. The fact is that when women progress, everyone progresses. Human freedom and dignity deny the roots of violence, power and control, and flower into opportunity for all. How can you help this movement bloom?