Many women and children in developing countries have very limited opportunities to shape their futures. Their are countless tragic stories of abuse, intolerance, oppression, and suffering that because of their diminished voice go unnoticed by the rest of the world. Half the Sky Movement is a transmedia initiative that was created to shed light on the struggles of mothers, young girls and their families in countries like Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. The project has received the support of celebrities like Diana Lane, America Ferrara and Olivia Wilde. What makes this initiative so appealing and powerful is how it combines different forms of media to share stories, raise awareness, and find solutions to a host of serious gender-based injustices.
Why the Half the Sky Movement Exists
Women in many parts of the world face specific abuse and crimes that continue to impact the daily lives of them and their children. In some of the countries mentioned previously, women often do not have equitable opportunities for real education nor security in a stable economic future- Women perform two thirds of the world’s total working hours but only earn 10% of wages. Statistics on school dropout rates are also dismal (according to Half the Sky, 1 out of every 5 primary school-age girls around the globe are not in school) This ultimately contributes to a cycle of illiteracy and poor career opportunities.
Without access to proper medical care, women often face a high risk of dying from complications related to pregnancy. Women are also victims to severe gender-based crimes such as rape and other forms of social, mental, and physical abuse. The exploitation of women as prostitutes by sex trafficking rings continues to be a growing global problem and in many cases, the laws in their countries fail to protect them from harm and often work against their interests.
Without resources and opportunities to change their own circumstances, the direct and indirect oppression of women continues to be a systematic and cyclical gross injustice.
To combat this and transform lives, The Half the Sky Movement aims to cut “… across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the defining issue of our time (Half the Sky Movement).”
So how do they do this?