The Oppression of Women and Girls: Why You Should Care

I watched a program with my husband recently, one that we are still discussing—Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The four-hour-long compelling and often hard-to-watch documentary ran nationally (in the U.S.) and in two two-hour segments that originally aired on October 1st and 2nd 2012 (the film will be will be broadcast internationally in 2013).

I was moved to tears (as was my husband) listening to the stories of what these women and girls have endured. Despite what has happened to them—sex trafficking, gender-based violence, female castration, forced prostitution, kidnapping, etc.—they have managed to rise above their oppression and help other women and girls. They are inspirational, courageous voices for the millions of women and girls worldwide that have been and continue to be oppressed. They are remarkable women and girls who face and successfully address atrocities in their cultures.

Children are the most vulnerable people in the world. Many of you that were in adoption preparation education classes with me in the following days and weeks after I viewed Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide listened to me speak of the issues and how they relate to children, especially girls, and why these issues likely resonate with parents who have adopted.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide reminds many of us of what our children may have faced if left to grow up in their countries of origin: orphaned, parentless, unrepresented, without a voice. Having no value, not cherished or loved. No one to champion for them. During the documentary my husband and I easily visited that “place” we have been before—understanding what could have happened to our daughters and son had they not been adopted.

New York Times reporters and Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDun are the two moral and compassionate journalists behind this powerful documentary that was filmed in ten countries. This husband and wife team also authored the highly acclaimed book that bears that same title as the film. Actresses and advocates America Ferrera, Eva Mendes, Diane Lane, Olivia Wilde, Meg Ryan, and Gabrielle Union travel with Kristof and help to bring the awareness to the issues.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is part of the Women and Girls Lead media campaign that seeks to “support and sustain a growing movement to empower them, their communities, and future generations.”

I hope you will watch the documentary or read the book (if you haven’t already) and I also hope that you will continue to advocate for the vulnerable. What has transpired and continues to happen to the vulnerable worldwide is more than a human rights issue. It’s a morality issue.

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.