This weekend I watched “Half the Sky.” This is a documentary that grew from the book of the same name, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It aired on PBS in October of this year. We travel with Nicholas and Sheryl to meet strong women leaders who are working to eradicate the systematic oppression of women. We visit a number of countries: Cambodia, Kenya, Vietnam, and India are some….and we bear witness to the challenges young girls and women are facing: prostitution, barriers to education, genital mutilation, economic inequality. This is an eye-opening film; I am incredibly inspired by the women leaders who are profiled here, and amazed at the strength of the women they are working with.
Most of “Half the Sky” takes place in Africa and Asia. Seeing the film got me wondering what the main issues would be if this were to cover Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. – countries in the Spanish-speaking world. What would the world need to hear about? Have the things I’ve seen in my travels given me a glimpse into the harsh reality that many women face daily? (A beauty pageant for young women I witnessed in Ecuador comes to mind. It was both a celebratory and an extremely sad occasion for me.)
I’m sharing three resources about topics which I find interesting and would like to learn more about. These are in no way the only issues, or course….and are simply the struggles that came to mind based on my travel and living experiences abroad:
- Advancing reproductive rights and health for indigenous women in Latin America: http://www.unfpa.org/rights/indigenous.htm
- Economic repression of rural women farmers in Latin America: http://www.globalissues.org/news/2012/02/24/12832
- Chiapas demonstrations for the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women: http://bit.ly/YoCBdr
This is only scratching the surface, but I wanted to start somewhere. What pertinent issues in Latin America do you feel need the limelight?