TL 11: Half the Sky by Mazel Genfi, London, England

Half The Sky was an eye opener and explaining it to others started a conversation that I’ve never had a lot. The documentary showed a lot of things to the treatment of women. It showed stuff people are still struggling to accept: that women are oppressed.  The documentary showed that women potential is usually taken away before they even reached their prime.  Most of the oppression, comes from the centuries old thought that women are inferior to men. Young women going to school is a rarity and families rather them learn to domestic work or even sex work to bring remittances back home. Other communities even still practice female genital mutilation, a practice that has dire consequences to those who participate in it.It was stated in the documentary that females are being treated as second-class citizens. Females are seen with no value and forced to reap the consequences from it.

The information that was provided made me thing even broader about my privileges.  It is powerful to hear the facts of how women are oppressed around the world because it sheds light on how half of the population is treated. Women In some cases, they are risking their lives to give young girls and women a chance to have a future when the odds are against them. This documentary raises awareness of the injustices that occur in the world and as sad as it is, it is necessary and fundamental to see this and understand the concepts that are being discussed. This raises awareness to the fact that the greatest challenge in empowering women is breaking the stereotypes that have been established, women have perpetuated most of which.

The story that touched me the most and made me think critically was the story about the Indian Brothel.It talked about how the caste system still plays a big role in Indian society especially in the world of prostitution. Even though despair was a theme in it, there was a sense of hope involved. Susimita life was already determined because of her mother’s profession, but her mother was trying to change that so she can receive an education.With the proper support, She was able to change that and stop herself into getting into a lifestyle that wasn’t the best for her.  Even though there aren’t a lot of girls who are fortunate like Susimita, her situations creates a precedent for them as a result of this opportunity. Throughout the movie, we see the progress and growth in Sushmita’s education. And. as we see that progress, we see the hope and optimism beginning to glow on her face.

This documentary really made me think about what I have as a person. As much as we Americans fight for the equality of women in our nation, other women do not have that privilege at all. I am blessed to have an education and have the opportunity to break gender norms and barriers. Not all girls are in that situation. It hurts my heart to know that as much as we think that the world is developing, it really isn’t. Realizing this makes me want to do something about it or try to help the cause of education of women.


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