Stories of horror, hope, and change
Somaly Mam grew up as an orphan living in extreme poverty in Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province. A man posing as her grandfather sold Somaly as a young girl into sexual slavery.
Forced to work in a brothel, Somaly was repeatedly tortured and raped. One night, she was made to watch as her best friend was murdered. Fearing she would also be killed, Somaly escaped her captors and set about building a new life for herself. She vowed never to forget those left behind and has since dedicated her life to saving victims and empowering survivors.
Every day, women and girls across the globe face grave threats of trafficking, prostitution, violence, and discrimination. Yet hope endures. And men and women across the globe have committed to help those living in some of the most challenging circumstances of life.
Today, a girl in India is on the brink of being sold into the commercial sex trade. A young mother in Somaliland will die giving birth. In Sierra Leone, a girl has been raped and must face the criticism of her community.
Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour television series for PBS. Shot in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S., the documentary series introduces us to women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable — and fighting bravely to overcome them. Half the Sky tells the stories of individuals who represent millions of women and girls around the world who are victimized and abused, denied access to education, medicine or property, and prevented from reaching their full potential. They are stories of dehumanizing violence and discrimination. But they are also stories of personal victories, large and small.
Each story puts a face to heartache. Each story illuminates the spirit of perseverance that is embodied by the women and girls who face these violations each day, as well as those who have made it their life’s mission to believe in them.
Purchase Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide here.