Paula Struckman
Special to the Free Press

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September 13, 2012
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COMMUNITY CINEMA: Season kicks off with 'Half The Sky'

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - You have seen and heard about the subjugation of women's rights, but have you ever seen these women and the fight to survive and thrive?

Based on their acclaimed book, "Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide," Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn chronicle both the oppression and opportunity of women in the documentary film, "Half the Sky."

The film tracks journalists Kristof and WuDunn, a husband and wife team, who visit two different countries investigating two oppressive practices: India, where forced and often violent, intergenerational prostitution subjugates a caste of women; and Kenya, where economic empowerment for women is all too slowly developing.

"Half The Sky" puts a face to the victims of rape and violence, the women who have been through the horror and are determined to do something about it - especially to save the next generation of girls inheriting the role from their mothers.

New Light at Kalighat in Kolkata, India, is a center for health, day care and schooling for those girls. Meet the happy, articulate, educated young lady who hopes to become an attorney, an impossible feat without the help of caring women. Meet another happy, articulate, educated young lady who is returning to her village as her grandfather insists she become a prostitute like her mother. This is the tradition that women are trying to change.

Kenya is a country in which men dominate the household economics and where income is often less than $1.25 per day. There is an attitude of helplessness, so they often use money to buy beer or drugs to fight depression and then become abusive to their women.

However, studies are showing that women who earn income are not as likely to be abused. If women control the money, they are more likely to spend it on milk and education for the children. Microeconomics is beginning to trickle into Kenya. By giving a woman even $2, she can start a business and, in the case of one business woman, provide work for 65 people. Women are learning and sharing.

"Half The Sky" is a movie; it is also a movement to change the oppression of women and girls worldwide. It ignites the fire to change.

NOTE: "Half The Sky" is a four-hour documentary covering six countries. The entire documentary will be broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS Monday, Oct. 1, and Tuesday, Oct. 2 from 8-10 p.m. The Community Cinema screening will include an overview of the documentary and the segment on economic empowerment in Kenya.

Grand Junction

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m. screening, 6:30 p.m. wine and cheese reception

Room 111, Academic Classroom Building

Colorado Mesa University

Free campus parking for this event

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Panelists:

Clare Boulanger, professor of anthropology, Colorado Mesa University

Morgan Hansow, founder, Light Gives Heat

Gretchen Reist Henderson, Off the Grid Films, moderator


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The Post Independent Updated Sep 13, 2012 02:26PM Published Sep 13, 2012 02:25PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.