Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Pulitzer Prize-winning Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is a best-selling, critically-acclaimed book that has become a PBS documentary and worldwide human rights movement. A review of the book claims that more girls were killed in 50 years than men were killed in all the 20th Century’s wars. Wow!
I will confess that I didn’t read the book because it ticks me off that journalists and celebrities are more excited about elevating violence against women to a human rights abuse internationally than they are here at home. I think we’d have more credibility internationally if we first cleaned up our own act. Women die every day here in the United States because domestic violence is rarely taken seriously by people in positions of power.
Yes, it is October. Yes, I’m going on my annual rant. Politicians want to woo women voters, but few take a stand on the issue of domestic violence. Apparently, they don’t understand simple arithmetic. The Justice Department says 25% of women have experienced domestic violence. That’s twice the number of women who get breast cancer ~ the pink movement that takes over every October. The medical community gets all excited despite the fact that they know that our numbers are 44% or almost four times the number of women who get breast cancer.
Yes, I’m thrilled that ObamaCares now requires domestic violence screening by medical professionals. I’d be ecstatic if Women for Obama donned purple along with their pink. Half the Sky focuses on gender-based violence because:
The gravest threat to a woman’s life is violence inflicted upon her simply because she is a woman.
Women between the ages of 15 and 45 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.
Now that I’m done bitching, I’ll get back to the documentary and my excitement that PBS is airing it tonight and tomorrow night (9PM Eastern and Pacific/8PM Central):
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.
It seems like a fitting way to kick off October. . .especially since the four-hour documentary visits the United States along with nine other countries.