Travel Log 11: “Holding Up Half The Sky” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

When watching the documentary on Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, I immediately felt sadness and shock when listening to those young girl’s stories. As a girl, it is not easy to hear the things that are being done to these women worldwide. It talks about the dichotomy between the “privileged” western world and the “oppressed” women around the world. It talks about the rape, sex work, female genital mutilation and other horrible things that go on worldwide. Although it might not be easy to watch or hear about, it is the truth of what is happening. This is no joking matter because every day women are being bought and used as slaves and workers, being objectified and exploited throughout the world.

One of the stories that was told was about a girl name Nhi who is fourteen years old. She is from Vietnam and lives with her brother and father. Her mom abandoned her when Nhi was only a few months old because her father was beating her mother. Nhi works hard every day selling lottery tickets in the streets to make money so she can pay for her schooling. If she doesn’t sell all of her tickets her father would beat her. When listening to her story I was so sad to hear everything she has gone through in her life, but later inspired. She pushes through every day so that she can get an education so she will not have to be selling lottery tickets on the street for the rest of her life. She knows the consequences and goes out and gets her work done. She is working for her future when she doesn’t even know if that future is possible. It is truly inspiring to hear her story. Her father says that he is hard on Nhi because if he is hard on her now, then when she is on her owns she won’t have a hard life later on. He goes on to say that, “She is doing okay. I try to guide her in the right direction.” He talks about how he is not proud of her yet because, “She hasn’t done enough.” I hope that Nhi keeps working hard and gets to a point where she is at least proud of herself even if her father might not ever get to that point. She needs to realize how strong she is, and that is without any parental support. Imagine what Nhi could accomplish with a little support from her family.

My area of study at Quinnipiac is biomedical marketing. In other words, the selling of medical products or pharmaceutical sales. These girls all over the world go through so much and many of them have great mental suffering. Besides the mental suffering, there is the other side of the picture, the actual physical suffering and damage that they have suffered. I understand that there is little or no money in the countries this is happening in, but that can’t be it. A person in my field could find a way to make some sort of deal maybe like Toms shoes. For instance, whatever drug or medication they are selling to doctors, they could do a one for one type of deal. For every prescription sold in the United States, one is given to a girl in a third world country. There is so much money that goes into pharmaceuticals and medicine in general, something has to be done. There has to be a way for these girls to get the treatment they need. It is one problem that the suffering is happening in the first place, but it is a whole other issue with the medical treatment.


One thought on “Travel Log 11: “Holding Up Half The Sky” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

  1. It’s crazy how much effort so many people put into getting an education in other parts of the world compared to people in developed countries who usually take it for granted. Nhi has to face the hardships of working the streets of Vietnam selling lottery tickets and also the hardships of her father’s beatings if she doesn’t do well. It was also awful hearing the father’s explanation for the beatings he gives his daughter. Under no circumstance should a man ever lay a hand on a woman and it’s something that the father doesn’t get. This story was just another example of the awful things women throughout the world have to deal with on a day to day basis and made the documentary all the more moving.


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