Half the Sky

Emphatically – Word of the Day

Cheryl Wudunn speaks at TED on Half the Sky. Wudunn is co-author with husband Nicholas Kristof of the book Half The Sky Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide and they are founders of the Half The Sky Movement .

Wudunn, an experienced journalist and the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer-Prize, has written powerfully about the plight of women and girls in the world today as a result of modern slavery and sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is insidious, and other forms of slavery equally so. There are a number of harrowing documentaries and movies that deal with the subject, the testimony before the US Senate by Ashton Kutcher is brief, graphic and disturbing, as well as passionate. Often conservative groups point the finger at the porn industry, and while I have no doubt it goes on under cover, I beleive that the real culprits are organised crime, prostitution (especially where drugs are used to create an indebtedness), and predominantly – countries whose laws are lax or where such crime can be easily hidden, even encouraged.

Wudunn points out that though there may some closeness in the ideal of male/female being 50/50 in the world, it not true that power and security for women is equal. There are many fact books and expose docos available, but fewer resources on what can actually be done, Half the Sky is one such resource.

The other resource is men! If men don’t add their voice to this critical issue then we simply accede to the status quo, and we are not owning that there is a problem. What clothing labels do you buy, how do you behave at home, at work, how do you treat women? We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that men are directly responsible for trafficking, the evidence is there, but those who stay quiet or turn away are also part of the problem.

Wudunn encourages everyone to do something about this issue, to firstly become aware, then to take action, even if that is only contributing to charitable work, lobbying, writing, whatever you can do – then do it. But do not do nothing! To quote Edmund Burke (or was it Charles Aked?) again: “The only thing necesary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (I’m going to leave that gender specific). There’s always more we can do, must do!

sweet, sweet cherry
the bees will enable us
fruit for all the world

©Paul Cannon




Filed under Haiku, life, mindfulness, quote, Trafficking

20 responses to “Half the Sky

  1. A very strong post Paul and yes, one has to take proper stand on social problems.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Way to demonstrate for us how we can do something about this horrible blight, and many others. Thanks for the prompt, Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. absolutely men talking to men, challenging their sexist carry on is the ONLY way things can change … and father’s really need to lead by example!


  4. wow she is super articulate and makes some very crucial points … once you have ‘sufficient’ the only way to elevate yourself is by contributing to a cause greater than you!
    Join the movement and help educate girls … 🙂


  5. Maybe not Edmund Burke, Paul, John Stuart Mill said in 1867: “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
    But I take your point. I asked an African American woman what I should do as a white man to further her rights and lights, because whatever positive action I take risks being paternalistic. She said, ‘I want to go through the door [to opportunity]. You hold the door open for me.’

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That post moves me.
    For some reason I’m interested in cases where people seemingly are repressed, for whatever reasons.
    Examples: As I learned it took about 70 years to achieve that women could vote in Great Britain. The socalled Sufragettes fought for it.
    Last year I read a book about a woman, about 30 years old, who rode a bicycle some 30.000 km around the world and had to achieve that in let’s say 5 months. She was the first one who tried this! This happend only 3 to 4 years ago. Needless to say this was a dangerous tour.

    But back to your point:
    What can we do?
    First of all we should look at ourselves! I think everyone has prejudices.
    Secondly we have to show support whenever we are able to.
    Thirdly: It is not necessary that women who receive support from us act the way we expect from them: They can refuse, they can nevertheless lead a life without grabbing the chance…that’s what many men do. So men and women are only equal if they have the same choice to react.
    Sorry for my bad English.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. lync56

    It took me long enough but it was worth the wait to see this amazing ted talk – and a great article


    Liked by 2 people

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