Half The Sky

(picture source)

I didn’t intend for yesterday’s post to be the perfect set up for the post I’m writing today but it was.

Yesterday I talked about my dreams.

As a young woman in college, I am surrounded, overwhelmed and swimming in opportunity.  There is an abundance of scholarships, clubs. internships and study abroad resources at my finger tips.

Sometimes all these opportunities seem overwhelming.

Sometimes studying and going to class seems like a chore.

Now, after watching the documentary Half The Sky last night, my perspective on education and opportunities is forever changed.

This documentary told the story of women in countries such as Kenya and India where opportunities are at a minimum.

Where women have few to zero rights.

Many women sell their bodies to survive.  Did you know the average age for prostitution is 9 to 13 years old?

Did you know it is socially acceptable for husbands to beat their wives in some countries?  One woman talked about how she ran away to her family when her husband beat her and they told her to go back.  She was a woman after all. And husbands beat their wives.

This semester has been huge in terms of opening my eyes to global issues.  It fascinates and saddens me to consider the stark contrast between the problems and perspectives of people living in different places.

In America, women aren’t  always paid the same salary as their male counterpart.s  In other countries, women are sold to brothels and some are circumcised against their will.

In America, 66% of adults are overweight and in other countries millions go hungry.

I find myself fighting to stay awake in class and feeling overwhelmed by homework.  There are girls my age in different countries who would die to learn how to read, but their families can’t afford to send them to school.

Why was I born into a financially stable family who could afford to send me to college and another girl was born into a caste system where she is told she can only aspire to be a prostitute?

Perhaps the most perplexing component of poverty is luck.  I didn’t choose this life any more than the young girls living in brothels chose theirs.

I dream.  I hope.  I am confident in the possibility of finding joy in everyday life because I have the opportunities to chase down my dreams.

But the boys and girls in third world countries have hopes and dreams too.  Tonight I watched a girl talk about her dream to be a lawyer and a boy tell us his dream to become a college professor.

Talent is universal.  These kids don’t lack creativity, intelligence or passion.

What they lack is opportunity.

I don’t think Americans should feel guilty for the opportunities and resources we have been blessed with.  But we should be aware of the difference between our opportunities and others.  I’ve never thought of my education as a privilege, but it totally is.

Education empowers many men and women of America.  We have the power so why not use it to make a difference?

What if every education student spent one year student teaching in countries where there are no teachers?

What if the architecture students completed projects where they built schools, medical check points and shelters for people without resources?

What if we, as consumers, bought or jewelry and scarves from women in Uganda and Cambodia instead of our favorite department stores?  You can do that at this website and this website!

Some of us got lucky.  Let’s be thankful for everything we have and use our oppurtunities to make the world a better place.


  Visit the Half The Sky Website to learn more about the film! http://www.halftheskymovement.org/


One thought on “Half The Sky

  1. Wow, very inspiring and though provoking post Makenzie! Your dreams could potentially become an life changing opportunity for one of those women. Love you!

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