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A born and raised Southern Belle, Rebecca is currently studying at Presbyterian College looking to pursue a career in broadcast journalism as a reporter. An avid blogger, she works with the online newspaper The Hudsucker. She also is a part-time Social Media Marketing Consultant. Rebecca is a proud member of Sigma Sigma Sigma who's philanthropy serves children. Rebecca also has the distinct privilege of working with Sounds of Pertussis where she campaigns about the awareness of Pertussis and it's prevention by the Adult Tdap booster. This honor is done in loving member of her cousin, Landon Carter Dube, who's life was taken too soon from this disease. Rebecca loves her Lord Jesus Christ and enjoys pursuing her passion for telling people's stories!

Women Hold Up “Half The Sky”

Suppose your professor told you that as a homework assignment, you had to watch a four hour documentary. Um, excuse me? No college student likes the idea of an extra long assignment. However when my Women and Gender Studies professor told us to watch the documentary Half the Sky, I never expected to have my entire life perspective changed. Yet the image of these young, awe-inspiring girls…it’s life altering folks.

The full name of this documentary is Half the Sky: Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. This documentary was produced by Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn; two New York Times journalist. It was shot in 10 different countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the US.  The purpose of this film is to introduce the audience to women and girls that live in conditions and face circumstances most Western women cannot even imagine in their worse nightmares.

For myself it was these young girls that changed how I viewed my personal circumstances. I cannot help by dive straight into the personal stories of these brave, young girls. I emphasis the word girl because many of these stories are told from girls that are in their early teens. Despite the rape, trafficking, female circumcision and more that they’ve faced, they remain resilient.

This is the beauty that makes Half the Sky so authentic. While statistics can be thrown around all day long about sex trafficking worldwide, it doesn’t truly resonate with the person on the other side of the camera until you see that young innocent face. The same face whose very innocence was brutally stolen from them.

(Source: Half the Sky)

One young girl describes how her eye was gouged out by a brothel owner and I have chills. If I place myself in the same circumstance I can say I would probably have such a darkness in my heart, I couldn’t carry on. Yet this young girl who is under fifteen overcame this and other tragedies by pursuing an education to better her future. Now that is true commitment.

Through my tears I saw scared girls become triumphant women that fight to free today’s young girls from what they faced in childhood. I see strangers becoming family in a community of healing. I see bright young minds have a chance to do what everyone deserves: learn to read and write.

I also realized by watching this film, how much I take for granted. I never have had to question whether I would attend school or college. The only question was where; but the act of attending somewhere was always a given. How can I ever complain about attending one class or completing one assignment when other young girls commute two hours a day just to attend a school? I would be entirely selfish to ever sigh at my abundant opportunities.

Education, more importantly education of young girls, is the key to a stable future; is what the film emphasizes. This education is not only an academic education, but can include teaching trade, vocations or any skills that lead to economic prosperity. How can someone deny choices that only aid our future, never hindering it?

As the film point out, unfortunately many people still have a backwards viewpoint that women are second class; ones whom should stay in the kitchen. (I say um, NO). Women should be front and center. All women in all countries of all ages and races. When we value each young girl or woman as our sister, one that is human…only then does a more prosperous future seem possible.

Half the Sky rips open your heart with the stories of pain and sorrow. The tears are shed because of all the agony and fear you see in the facts of the stories. Yet only triumph emerges from the heart because of the heroes of these stories. These stories of sex trafficking, rape, domestic abuse and more is not ones that end in loss; but many end in victory. This occurs when these young, strong girls and women stand up for themselves despite the very danger of loosing their lives. It doesn’t stop them but empowers them to help not only themselves but others as well.

Now if that doesn’t empower you, I am not sure what will.

Check out the Half the Sky to learn more.

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