Half the Sky Documentary Revisited: Somaliland

Edna Adan (right), pictured with Diane Lane. Via Half the Sky.

My review of the Half the Sky documentary for MMW last month made little mention of any redeeming aspects of the film. On the whole, I felt that the film was sadly overshadowed by the American actresses—and George Clooney!—who accompanied and provided commentary for the Nicholas Kristof production. It became more about the celebrities than the actual women from around the world—a damning example of exactly how not to discuss the health and well-being of women from around the … [Read more...]

Half the Sky Documentary Reviewed

An image from the film, of a mother and her baby at the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital. Via PBS.

At the beginning of the month, PBS aired a four-hour film version of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in the United States. I read the book when it first came out in 2010 and examined its portrayal of female genital mutilation in Senegal for Muslimah Media Watch then. The documentary was heavily promoted by my local public radio and TV stations. Naturally, I made sure to have it turned on in the background while … [Read more...]

FGM in Kristof and WuDunn’s Half the Sky

After watching Moolaadé, I recalled that I had come across a story several months ago of how FGM is combated in Senegal in Kristof and WuDunn’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, released in 2009. Kristof and WuDunn devote the thirteenth chapter of the book (chapter: “Grassroots vs. Treetops”) to looking at an organization, Tostan, that works to “empower African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation” … [Read more...]


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