Travel Log 11: “Holding Up Half The Sky” By: Stephen Sharo Dunedin, NZ

As I was read the book Half the Sky it was clear that the novel was going to have a lasting impact on me. The overall purpose of the book was to raise awareness about the inhuman treatment of women around the world. The book covered the stories of multiple women spanning across the globe. All these women shared one common link, they were all denied basic human rights. The women were involved in the worst situations imaginable including sex trafficking and child labor. I think that the author’s wanted more than to simply raise awareness. I think that the motivation behind the novel was to spark a movement to preventing these types of heinous crimes. The authors also wanted people to learn about these situations widely known and bring the highlight the mistreatment of women.

One women’s story which particularly impacted me was the story of Dina. Dina was a seventeen year old girl who lives in Congo. One day she was raped by four men, mutilated, left for dead and was found by her parent’s hours later. Unfortunately for Dina her family was unable to afford the necessary medical care in order to treat her dire condition. It was only until HEAL Africa arrived to provide her the desperate support she needed. The most shocking aspect about Dina’s story is she continued to live at home despite the incident, knowing that the risk is practically inescapable.

As I was reading Dina’s story, I couldn’t fathom what I was reading. Here was this innocent teenager who was treated like she was worthless. In my head I was questioning how could somebody do that? How were these people so devoid of emotion to treat this poor girl in such a way? I actually got somewhat angry at the people who did this to Dina. What I think was the worst part was the fact that I knew this wasn’t an isolated incident; these crimes are frequently happening all around the world. The two things that hit home the most were the lack of respect for Dina and the lack of healthcare she received. If an incident like this occurred in America there would be outrage. There would be a huge investigation, the story would be broadcasted on the news, and many people would rally around and support the victim. Yet in Dina’s case no one seemed to care. I think this just demonstrates how people view issues in the United States. I think that most people have a strong reaction when atrocities like this are occurring near their home, but once crimes are committed faraway we seem to turn a blind eye.

As a physical therapy major I am shocked about the lack of healthcare these women are receiving. In many areas of the world these women aren’t receiving the fundamental aspects of healthcare. The world has come so far in terms of healthcare and it’s absurd that not is getting some type of medical attention. Moreover the book talks a lot about childbirth and how there is such a lack of care for the women enduring it. There needs to be a revolutions in regards to the lack of healthcare, especially for women, in developing countries and around the world.  I think it is important to bring these issues to forefront of discussion; people need to know about these situations around the world and discuss how to solve them. People need to be empathetic about the situations of these women and imagine if those same situations were happening in their neighborhood


One thought on “Travel Log 11: “Holding Up Half The Sky” By: Stephen Sharo Dunedin, NZ

  1. The “blind-eye” concept you mentioned is exactly what I thought of too watching Half the Sky. I had the same thought process about how I was amazed these atrocities happened in these countries and we never hear about them. However, if something like that happened here in the States then there would be an incredible uproar about the situation. Since these incidences happen far away from home it is almost as if we turn an eye because we don’t have any say in the situations abroad anyways for punishment and investigation in her situation. However, I realized that is why they even made Half the Sky, to start making that change in the world these girls deserve to see.


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