Travelogue 11 “Holding Up Half the Sky” by Dejanay Richardson. Barcelona, Spain.

Half the Sky is a documentary that calls for attention to women`s issues through the biographies of selected individuals around the world. The main topic of interest is how young women are being commodified as a monetary venture for a sex slave. Their sexual health, as well as self- dignity is not a prevalent matter to those who of the parents, family members, members in society, and the brothel owners. Half The Sky is a call for action for people to bring their attention to global issues that should impress upon our own society. Sex trafficking is a big issue in America as well, but it is a bigger issue in places like India, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Nickolas Kristoff wants people to know that everyone has a right to know about the issues in the world, and everyone does have a journey that they can share.

One of the storys that has impacted me is in a big way was Edna from Somaliland. As on the first practicing obstetrician/gynocologist she has made great strides for her people in her region. In Somaliland almost every girl has her genital parts mutilated by the age of ten. This is a tradition in Somaliland that has followed customs for a very long time. At first when I saw that this was a recurrent practice in Somaliland I though that this was appalling. I could not believe that people would allow for this type of behavior. However, later on I realized that I was only seeing this practice through the eyes of my own ethnocentricism. Many girls in Somaliland accept this part of this culture because it was engrained in their mental thinking. Most of us cannot grasp this type of behavior because it is not part of our own customs. Once I accepted this, I started to change my behavior which affected my attitude towards girls in Somaliland.

To me Edna was the change to this custom, she was re-writing the Rites of passage for these girls. She gave them a chance to become something better by opening up a school for girls to learn what it is to be a mid-wife. Even though I couldn`t emotionall relate to the girls, I understood that Edna represented a political outlet for the rights of women to be heard. Another young woman who is making strides in her country is Malala. Malala is a young girl who was almost killed for her contributions to making sure young girls in the Middle East had education. She stands a symbol for education, liberty, and political refugee for many young people in the Middle East especially Pakistan.

Hierarchy and authority is a huge deal in the documentary in Half the Sky. Throughout the documentary, young girls would struggle through school because many of the parents would think that girls should not be educated. They think it is wasting their time, and they would be better having a low paying job to help out the family. Young people have struggled to have their voice heard because of their limited authority in government. However, in Spain the voice of the youth most recognizably is important. A week ago, the Spanish government passed a bill stating that it would now have more exams to get into college school and graduate school. These exams would then affect the price to get into college and graduate school, since it is more competitive. The young people in Spain took to the streets to march down to the Generalitat, the government, and protest the costs of going to college since before it was free. Even parents and adults joined to protest. Overall, the youth has been an overlooked group of people, but many people have been pursuing youth issues of poverty and education like Shakira, Alicia Keys, and other celebrities taking a stand.






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