We are so busy with our daily responsibilities that sometimes we forget to take a look at what’s happening in the world. Among many global issues, one topic I find very heartbreaking is the oppression of women and girls. Half the Sky Movement so cleverly stated that slavery was a major challenge in the 19th century, totalitarianism was a struggle in the 20th century, and the worldwide oppression of women and girls defines our current 21st century.
Globally, there are many issues such as sex trafficking, forced prostitution, gender-based violence, maternal and child mortality, and many more. There has been gradual change and improvements in the past decade, but the biggest movement came in the form of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. This bestselling book is written by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and it calls for people around the world to take on this emergency moral challenge.
Inspired by this book, a landmark movement of the same name has been created, and it is amplifying the book’s impact. The movement is supported by many world known people, organizations, and countries that it is now a phenomenon to be reckon with. The movement created educational tools, games, videos, classroom curriculums, web articles, TV series, etc…
The TV series was how I was first introduced to Half the Sky movement. This broadcast followed stories of many celebrities (such as Eva Mendes, Olivia Wilde, America Ferrera) in 10 countries. I was able to see the struggles the celebrities’ face, the hardship women/girls had to overcome just to survive, and how this intimate, empowering, and transformative stories can bring about change. The heartbreaking stories they shared and the tears they shed touched me so much and gave me a newfound appreciation of my own life and a major motivation to take interest in global issues. I later realized that University of Maryland has a chapter of its own so I was able to even participate in soem events when I was an undergraduate student.
Of course, worldwide awareness or me actively participating in events doesn’t mean that oppression against women is gone, but Half the Sky movement educates people, raises awareness, and motivates everyone to spread the word, join the movement, and be the change.
We, USG students, can too be a part of this change. Whether we are near or far, or touched by the situation or not, I think that we should all be globally conscious citizens. We don’t need to necessarily join clubs or be physically out there helping people. All it takes is word of mouth, sharing information, and raising awareness among the people you know.
Pass it on! 🙂