Travel Log 11: “Holding up Half the Sky” by Jill Berlant; Perugia Italy

The documentary Half the Sky is so touching. It is about women in horrible situations all over the world that face enormous humanitarian issues. The film is about teaching others the importance of empowering women worldwide. In the film women have been sexual assaulted, sex trafficked, and uneducated. While watching there are many programs and organizations that help girls in the different situations. There are clinics, safe houses for those who where trafficked, and schools that child can go to for free. After watching the film it made me feel so fortunate that I am a women who is educated and was watched over. I feel like I want to help all of these children and young ladies in the film. I think they are so strong and courageous; they are role models to look up too.

All of the girls in the film stand out to me because all of their stories touched me. One girl from Sierra Leone named Fulamatu was a victim of rape. She was fourteen years old and was sexual assaulted by her uncle. After the war in Sierra Leone men stopped killing but rape did not stopped. Aime a wonderful woman that lives in Sierra Leone works at a client called Rainbo Centre to help counsel women and young girls that have been sexual abused. The police never go after the rapist and yet the numbers of rapes that happen are very high. In there society men do this to gain power and control, there is a myth that having devirginated somebody is a pride, therefore they do not care how old the girls are. The men never face consequences for their actions therefore they keep harming and infecting girls. At the Rainbo Centre the youngest girl was 2 ½ years old that has been sexual abused. Twenty-six percent of the girls that go to this center are under the age of 12. Fifty-seven percent of girls are twelve and seventeen years old. Over the course of eight years they have had over 9,000 survivors. Fulamatu worked up the courage to tell her parents what happened and they at the beginning was for her going to the police so they can put this man away so he does not rape anyone else. Fulamatu was emotional when telling her story but a sign of relief was occurring because she felt she was doing the right thing. Unfortunately things did not go well and everyone in the village knew and she felt uncomfortable but stayed strong because she knew she was not the one who did wrong. He father kicked her mother and her out of the house because they embarrassed him. She seemed to stay strong because she was doing the right thing. I think it is hard that her parents cannot even be someone to support her through this tough time. Falamatu says she doesn’t care a lot, about what people say/think, but inside it still has to hurt and bother her. She is very smart and wants to continue with her education. I think she can come away from this situation as a strong woman.370d3c8ccfe90f985a_n6m6ibxt5

The women that are rapped and in brothels get many sexual transmitted diseases. Fulamatu went to the doctors to get checked out, having doctors and hospitals are very important in these situations. The girls that were saved from trafficking go around educating men on how to use condoms. I think if more people where educated about STD’s maybe less harm would be done to these girls. A young girl who is nine has HIV and is going to die and she wants the men to know that “a few minutes of their pleasure killed me”. Half the Sky really made me more aware on what is going around to women all over the world.


2 thoughts on “Travel Log 11: “Holding up Half the Sky” by Jill Berlant; Perugia Italy

  1. I completely agree with your comment that the video informed me on what is really going on with women in the world. I did not realize the extent or severity of these issues for women and hearing personal accounts really impacted me. The diseases spreading was especially horrifying and I can not imagine it.


  2. This documentary was very eye-opening for me. I had been blind to a majority of these issues prior to watching this. Too often I feel like we take for granted things such as healthcare and safety because we’ve grown up in the US. The oppression of women on a global basis is truly sad. This documentary did an excellent job spreading awareness about this topic.


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