“All over the world women face discrimination, violence, and many other injustices in all areas of life. Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. Apart from being a question of human rights and democracy, no other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation. If we do not improve the way we address women's rights and gender equality, we risk condemning millions of women to continued poverty, oppression, and violence”.
"No society treats its women as well as its men. That is the conclusion from the United Nations Development Programme, as written in its 1997 Human Development Report [source: UNDP]. Almost 50 years earlier, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly had adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which specified that everyone, regardless of sex, was entitled to the same rights and freedoms. The 1997 Human Development Report, as well as every Human Development Report that followed, has highlighted that each country falls short of achieving that goal”.
The documentary “half the sky” looks at gender inequality issues around the world.
“Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity”.
There are no saints here, we are all sinners, all responsible, and in a country like the United States where we pride ourselves on our freedoms, yet rape still happens in our sacred places, we need to look deeper into the root cause. Women do not earn as much as men, how many female leaders are at the head of religious organizations or CEOs. Etc, Etc.
We all have mothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters: do we want this to happen to them?
We have a lot of work to do, and in order to accomplish this we need to educate our children and ourselves.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III