Did you see the recent PBS broadcasts of the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide?
In the US, you can watch them online now - Part One through Oct 8 and Part Two through Oct 9. Go to http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/half-the-sky/ See the links to Part One and Part Two in the beginning of the article under the picture.
Why watch? The film represents the reality of many women, I think even the majority of women, worldwide. It's heartbreaking to realize this, but what speaks even louder is the strength, potential, courage and spirit you see in the faces of the women in spite of their situation.
“Talent is universal; opportunity is not.” –Nicholas Kristof
You'll see the faces of the people making opportunities for change for themselves and their communities, even at the risk of their own lives. The change is infectious, especially with women and those around them.
In Tanzania, we saw people working hard to ensure education and economic means are a reality. Everywhere we went, we saw people, especially women, creating or seizing opportunities. People value new education and economic opportunities while still embracing their own wonderful culture (it is many different cultural communities that make up today's Tanzania). We also saw some situations, unimaginable to us, that left us in silence and with little hope for change.
We met this group of girls and boys at Tumaini School, after discussing schools with our guide. He knew the founder of the school and invited us to stop by (this school teaches in English). We told where we live and what work we do. Some of them asked us questions and told us what they wanted to do. One of the girls near the windows quizzed & corrected me on coffee tree growing and harvesting.
They were in a class on this Saturday, and not in their uniforms, because they were preparing for an upcoming national exam for their specific grade level. The school started in a house with 17 students. It now has over 500, and 50% are girls. (This blog - http://adventuresofadelicateflower.wordpress.com/ has recent graduation celebration pictures.)
Go to http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/half-the-sky/ See the links to Part One and Part Two in the beginning of the article, under the pictures.
From outside the US, if this site or the videos don't work for you, try this website to find out more about it or local broadcasts http://www.halftheskymovement.org/ It is inspired by the book of the same title by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.