Community Cinema: Half the Sky with Sheryl WuDunn
Asia Society Texas Center joins Community Cinema in the movement to educate and empower women and girls with a screening of Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide on Monday, September 17 at 7:00 pm. Based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book of the same name, the program is presented as part of Community Cinema, a national documentary screening series sponsored locally by HoustonPBS and the Independent Television Service (ITVS). At Asia Society Texas Center, excerpts from the documentary will be screened followed by a conversation with journalist Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian American to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Everyday, millions of women and girls around the globe face threats from trafficking and prostitution to violence and discrimination. Says WuDunn, “In the same way that slavery was a moral challenge for the 19th century and totalitarianism was a challenge for the 20th century, the challenge that women and girls face around the world is the moral challenge of our time.” As Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide demonstrates, hope endures because fearless women and men are developing innovative ways to turn the tide.
One of six stories featured in the mini-series will be previewed: Sex Trafficking in Cambodia.
About the Story
From Episode One: Sex Trafficking in Cambodia
In Cambodia, where 30 percent of prostitutes are children, the series examines the issue of sex trafficking. Meg Ryan and Kristof meet Somaly Mam, herself sold into slavery as a young girl, but who is now a world-renowned leader in the anti-trafficking struggle. Mam runs a center to rehabilitate and educate girls rescued from brothels. She introduces Somana, sold at age 13 and forced to work as a prostitute, her eye gouged out by the brothel owner.
When Mam learns that underage girls have been discovered in a brothel on the Thai border, she organizes a daring raid with the help of local authorities and Kristof and the cameras capture this dramatic and dangerous effort to free underage girls being held as sex slaves. Working tirelessly to bring the voices of these girls to the world, Mam uses innovative approaches, such as a weekly radio show, to raise awareness. “We’re going to change Cambodia,” she says. “We want you to hear from us. If you don’t listen to us, we’ll keep on talking. We’re not tired at all.”
Reception and book signing: 6:00
Presented by ITVS Community Cinema, HoustonPBS, and Asia Society Texas Center