Women of Earth: Half the Sky

The innovated series Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is being shown on PBS on October 1 and 2 as a four-hour documentary.  It is based on the book by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof.


Filmed in 10 countries, the series follows Nicholas Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. 

The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.”

HALF THE SKY Movement:


The trailer gives a glimpse of what the documentary is about and the lives of women and girls who face challenges which are herculean in nature and a sad commentary on the world in 2012. If you would like to donate to this organization, the links listed below will give you the opportunity.

On this earth life has not been easy for women and girls.  They have borne the burdens of human history from the male cave dwellers to the high-rise male executives who treated the female side of humanity like chattel.

They have suffered the cruel inflictions from their male counterparts in the various parts of the world from the primitive to the sophisticated.  From the home to their religious system women have been abused and used by those men who did not appreciate the women in their sphere of influence.

In 1995 Hilary Clinton as First Lady of the USA gave a speech in Beijing, China on September 5 entitled Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. Here are some highlights:

Tragically, women are most often the ones whose human rights are violated.  It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls.

It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution.

It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small.

It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war.

It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide among women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes.

It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation.

It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace around the world – as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled and subjected to violence in and out of their homes – the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realized.


This is my first post in my Women of Earth series.  I will explore various aspects of women as they walk their road of life on this planet traversing the cosmos.  Unfortunately, human history is not a reflector of dignity and mutual respect between men and women.

For women are our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, nieces, and friends.  For without a woman a man would not be born into this world, yet how fast some men tend to forget the maternal connection across this globe filled with inequality, oppression and violence.

G. D. Williams       © 2012

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