Half the Sky

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Dec 9th 2010

Content: Strictly "A" rated, not for children or under 18.

When I initially saw this video Sunitha's TED talk on facebook doing the rounds, I took a look at it, felt very violated that such violence could exist, and that man is capable of doing this to a child, and thinking that such people are not human but animals. And the thing that struck me the most about the whole video was that all these victims ask for is only acceptance after all they have been through, nothing more. This was more than a few months ago.

Our local public library displays books from current best selling lists at the entrance and also loans them out for 14 days with no renewals. I have gotten off late into the habit of picking up one book at a time from there; because otherwise I feel I get into a rut of reading the same author's books until I have read every one that he/she has written; because I don't want to experiment. But after I found The Millenium Series like that; reading Steig's book when it was on the best seller's list I have gotten bolder. And that is how I found "Half the Sky". And am I glad I did, because in a way it has changed everything in my world, in my mind, in how I comprehended "gender inequality", "being in pain" and "what mankind is capable of".

From their website;

" Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world's women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world. We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity. Outsiders can truly make a difference."

I will say only this much. This is not a light read but that is precisely why you should read it. The suffering these women have undergone, and the spirit with which they emerge is truly inspirational and their courage is unbelievably commendable. It puts everything in perspective and one cannot walk away untouched.

If we each think; there are ways in how we live our everyday lives that affect how we think, how we proclaim what is important to us. Similarly the society we grow up in is hugely responsible for who we are as persons, who we are as individuals, what we accept as right or wrong.  Any which way you look at it, any which society we belong to, what happened to all these women who were brave enough to share their stories and to countless more is just gut wrenching.

So what can I/you do? No one can have all the answers. But creating awareness is a step in the right direction because if one is aware, and one starts pondering about it, you will think of ways in which a positive change can happen. All these organizations and individuals need monetary help, need government support, need our support to succeed.  I believe if we put our hearts into it, our minds will find a way to incorporate into our daily lives the lessons these women have shared with their indominatable spirit and find avenues to cheer them along!