Sep. 27, 2012 at 12:47pmHalf the Sky

Phenomenal premiere based on the book

Well I’ve been absent from blogging for about two months and it is almost two months to the day that we moved into our new house. Can’t believe how long it takes to “get settled.” 

Finally after moving in during the month of August, having a garage sale last weekend and getting rid of a ton of stuff I’m finally feeling like I can get back to relaxing and watching a bit of the tube. And KSPS  is at the top of my list next week even with all the new programming on commercial channels.


I was thrilled to see the Oct. 1-2 special presentation of Independent Lens’ four-hour PBS primetime national and international broadcast event based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's widely acclaimed book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. 

Independent Lens’ website notes that the movie was filmed in 10 countries telling 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.”

This series is remarkable in that the book and the movie invite us to make changes … change in the way we view women. Our gender makes us vulnerable to violence from sex trafficking and forced prostitution to maternal mortality and domestic violence across cultures, time and space. Did you know maternal mortality internationally claims one woman every 90 seconds?

Celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde appear in the series and take viewers on a worldwide journey demonstrating that oppression is being confronted and solutions are being created at every level.

It's an issue I’m personally familiar with due to the many stories I’ve written about women and violence. 

Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky says gender based violence is one of the most common but least visible or recognized forms of oppression against women. “Around the world, as many as one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex acts or abused in some other way, most often by someone she knows according to the United Nations Population Fund. 

“Of all the issues … gender-based violence is the most widespread. Sure enough, in a country like Sierra Leone, it’s very extreme, it’s a post-conflict situation. But rape and domestic abuse happen everywhere,” WuDunn says. “They really are one of the most ubiquitous forms of gender-based oppression.”

What I love most about the book and movie is that it presents not only the problems but the solutions as well. They demonstrate how education changes the lives of women and girls, how critical it is that women lift themselves out of poverty with the help of organizations like Jamii Bora, an organization in Nairobi founded by 50 impoverished women and that obstacles facing women are not insurmountable.

Don’t miss Half the Sky. It  premiers on Monday, Oct. 1 and Tuesday, Oct 2, at 9p.m. on KSPS in Spokane.


  • Comments (4)
How can I purchase the documentary Half the Sky?
Left by Barbara Wilson | Oct. 4, 2012 at 9:34am
Hi Barbara,

Thank you for your interest in Half the Sky. DVD's of this remarkable story can be purchased from shopPBS Or you can phone 800-531-4727.
Left by Scott at KSPS | Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:08am

Will the documentary Half the Sky be broadcast again on KSPS? If so, when?
Left by Heather | Oct. 20, 2012 at 6:56pm
need to know the criteria for North West Profiles. What qualifies? How does one propose a particular subject?
Joe Ferguson
Left by joe Ferguson | Jan. 14, 2013 at 3:17pm

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