We had a successful showing over the weekend of the “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” documentary. We didn’t end up watching the entire film because not everyone made it to the showing, people needed to leave part of the way through, and people needed a break from the intensity of the content. So, if you didn’t get a chance to watch the documentary, you still have time to catch up! We are planning a second showing within the next month, so pay attention for details. In the meantime, you can watch the movie on your end through Netflix, through iTunes, or by renting/purchasing the DVD. We ask that if you do watch the movie on your own, that you watch all the way until the last section, which is Kenya and economic empowerment. This is where we stopped over the weekend, and we hope to all finish the movie at the same time so we can discuss the film together.
Women’s Rights Actions You Can Take Today
If you’ve already seen the movie, or have caught up with us, than below are some women’s rights actions you can take today. If you are not compelled by what you’ve seen to do something about it, even something small, (don’t worry, we plan to take action as a group by fundraising. How we are fundraising, when, and for whom, all still need to be determined), then why are you reading this blog and have any interest in human rights? Below are a few things you can do today:
Live Below the Line
Live Below the Line is a five-day challenge, starting on April 29, to live on $1.50 per day (the US equivalent of the poverty line). From now until May 31, participants can raise money for one of several organizations to build awareness of extreme poverty and to help groups that are trying to make a difference. One of the organizations you can help is the Somaly Mam Foundation, which was featured in the documentary. If you don’t already know, SMF works to end sex slavery in Cambodia by rescuing girls from the brothels and rehabilitating them for a new life.
Or, you can sponsor one of our members, who is already participating in the Live Below the Line Campaign and is raising money for SMF.
Set Up a Kiva Account
Kiva.org is a crowd-sourced, micro-lending site where for just $25, you can help someone on the other side of the world start a business or keep their business going. Over time, the person repays the loan and you get your money back.Twenty-five dollars may not seem like a lot, and it’s not, but your money is combined with the contributions of others to fulfill the amount the entrepreneur needs. With just $25 dollars that I deposited over four years ago, I’ve been able to fund a grocery store in Tajikistan, a woman’s clothing store in Ukraine, a freelance agricultural excavator in Lebanon, and a men’s clothing store in Tajikistan. Currently, my money is loaned to a food stall in Kenya. Although Kiva was not mentioned in the film, it’s economic empowerment like this that can transform the life of a woman, her family, and her community.
Talk to Others about the Book and the Movie
If you believe that women’s rights are the moral challenge of the 21st century, as both the book and the movie claim, then hopefully you’ll want others to know what you now know. Share the book with others! Tell them about what you read, and take the time to learn more by researching these topics and the organizations involved! Half the Sky is even looking for community ambassadors and campus ambassadors to help spread the word, so if this is something you are passionate about, then apply!
Other than that, watch the movie, and do something to overcome this moral challenge!