Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Last night I had the honor of attending a special preview of the PBS documentary film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The film was inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  The event was hosted by the Ford Foundation and was moderated by award-winning journalist Ann Curry.  The screening included exclusive footage and conversations with women’s rights leaders and activists who are featured in the film.

Maro Chermayeff, the Executive Producer and Director of the documentary, filmed the two part series in 10 different countries.  The film follows Nicholas Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous women fighting against oppression all over the world.

As I watched segments of the film and listened to the panelists, the message became very clear.  The problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us one of the most vital opportunities of our time: the opportunity to make changes to the way women are treated around the world.

It was very inspiring to hear Nicholas Kristof say that he feels hopeful that change is happening and there is more to come. Kristof said that no country can get ahead if it leaves half the country behind; women need their human rights and socio-economic rights protected in every society for there to be stability in any given country and in the world.

This is a film that should be watched by us all.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide airs on October 1 and October 2 on PBS at 9 pm eastern time.

My Interview with Katie Ford on Modern Day Slavery

This is the first of a series of interviews I will be doing with individuals that are making significant changes in the world in the face of great uncertainty.  My hope is that it will inspire all of us to shift our relationship with the unknown and embrace what is possible in our lives.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Katie Ford, the former CEO of Ford Models and the founder of the Katie Ford Foundation, regarding slavery in the world today.  I was surprised to learn that there are over 27 million slaves all over the world, including some in the United States.  Through the Katie Ford Foundation, Katie partners with on the ground organizations that create long-term, systemic changes to end slavery in the countries where they work and to save lives by freeing people who are held in slavery.

Below is the link to my interview with Katie.  I hope you enjoy it and together we can all be part of the solution to end slavery in the world today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEM2xkUnrcw