Half the Sky Documentary Evaluation
Half the Sky is a movie that discusses the oppression of women around the world. It brings to light the issues that, even in today’s society, are still occurring. Women, young adults, and children everywhere in the world are becoming victims to abuse, rape, and being deprived of getting an education.
This film documents Nikolas Kristof going around the world with the help of well known people in America to show some of the issues and some organizations that are working to change the way society views women and children. Early in the documentary a shocking statistic was given.
It stated that around 60 million to 100 million females are currently missing out of the population. Where are all of these women going, and how are we letting this happen in today’s societies? Females all around the world are becoming victims of genital mutilation, sex trafficking, rape, and abuse. Half the Sky is shedding light into some of the cultures around the world where this is a norm, and is trying to promote awareness. It discusses the reasons why these events are still taking place in current cultures, and what we can do about it to change the way people respond to these events.
Some of the issues addressed in the movie Half the Sky are talking about women being oppressed in current societies. Women are constantly being put through human trafficking, violence, are being undereducated, and catching a ton of diseases from being raped. The people in this movie are trying to look at the issues of women not being treating equally and having the same rights as men in the 21st century. One of the main reasons this is happening is because men are never even caught, and when they are most of the time are shown no consequences.
Another issue that first brought these issues in countries to light was that in China many females have gone missing due to the fact that it is more accepted to have a male born into your family, not a female. Children, primarily females, are being sold at shockingly young ages to brothels and are forced to be sex slaves. In so many countries it has become a norm for men to abuse women and use them as sex slaves. There are a few reasons there has been little progress made in changing the ways some cultures view women. One reason there has been no progress is because of the lack of punishment towards those causing the abuse.
An example of this from Half the Sky is when they went into Sierra-Leone. There was a case where a teenage girl told her parents about her being raped by a relative, and they decided to press charges. After the man was captured, arrested, and placed in jail the family then became almost shunned by the community. After all this occurred the father in the family kicked the wife and child out. They said it was because the child had caused “shame” upon the family. Then the child forgave the man who had raped her, and many others, and he was released free; thus, causing the cycle to begin all over again.
There is a huge lack of police forces investigating crimes, and men actually having consequences to their actions. A hard problem to solve is how we can fix these problems and change the way so many people feel about women. It’s a slow and grueling process, but eventually if everybody does there part we can make a difference and create equality for all women. In every culture there’s at least one organization out there trying to change the way women and children are treated in their society. The greatest challenge is when you have outsiders coming into a community to talk about these issues.
Many people within a culture are not going to listen to an outsider, so we really need people within the communities to help change the way that society views the way their females are treated. We need people within the culture to empower others in that society to speak up and gain more followers. Secondly, we need to train societies to prosecute and investigate these crimes more thoroughly. If these countries don’t have a strong justice system no changes can be made when those committing the crime don’t see it as a crime.
Thirdly, we need to educate children. Girls are likely to drop out of school at an age of fourteen or before to work for their family, whereas boys are likely to drop out at sixteen. Building an educated generation will help because then they can get a career and will not be caught in poverty like so many generations before them. Lastly, we need to bring all of these issues to light in countries that can help. We need more Americans to become aware of these issues, and reach out to help make them better.
Nikolas Kristof said in Half the Sky, ” Once people pay attention, that’s the first step towards a solution. ” All of this relates to sociology in many ways. One of the main ways it relates is because you see how something so looked down upon in one culture can be so socially acceptable in another culture. When somebody is accused and prosecuted for rape in America they are put in jail for a long time, and receive consequences for their actions. If you go to say Sierra-Leone, or Cambodia the person accused of rape will almost 100% of the time walk away with no consequences.
It’s all a matter of perspective and your culture you live in. Everybody needs to learn to be more culturally aware, and learn to help other cultures that aren’t quite were we think they should be. Sociology is also related to Half the Sky because of the idea that it chases after women and children alone being oppressed. All in all, societies are all different in one way or another. Sociology helps us to understand the reasons people may act one way opposed to another, and how we can all work together to make a difference.