The Half the Sky Movement is a multi-donor, multimedia campaign bringing together video, mobile games, content hubs and other education tools to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Around the world, 62 million girls are not in school and an estimated 100 million will drop out before completing primary school. Globally, 1 in 7 girls is married before her 15th birthday, and 1 in 3 women will experience gender-based violence in her lifetime. Each year more than 287,000 women, 99 percent of them in developing countries, die from pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications.
The Half the Sky Movement Global Engagement Initiative is a multimedia development alliance to promote gender equality globally, with targeted efforts in Kenya and India. These campaigns are opening up debate about deep-set values that challenge women’s empowerment in areas such as economic growth, girls’ education, female genital mutilation (FGM), women and girls’ health, and sex trafficking.
USAID supported the developed of 18 educational and advocacy videos on topics ranging from delaying marriage, domestic violence, and reproductive health. Taking advantage of the more than 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, three-quarters of them in developing countries, USAID also supported the creation of three mobile games. The games proactively engage players around critical issues like reproductive health, empowerment through education, and staying healthy by preventing worm infestation. The three mobile phone games are available in English, Hindi and Kiswahili. The games are free and available through in-country mobile phone app stores, including Nokia, Safaricom, GetJar and Appia.
Half the Sky Movement is working on-the-ground with NGOs through these educational videos, and mobile games, as well as social media and corresponding curriculum to engage audiences around gender issues, increase awareness, foster discussion, and promote attitudinal and behavioral shifts for lasting change. Featured Videos
The alliance aims to improve the lives of women and girls in developing countries by using multimedia tools to increase media dialogue around gender issues; improve women’s access to social, economic and political opportunities; create knowledge, attitude and behavior change in individuals, communities and institutions; and encourage policymakers, business leaders and influencers to advocate for institutional change that supports gender equality.
In Kenya, Half the Sky Movement worked with Shining Hope for Communities and Young Women’s Leadership Institute to launch the Wezesha Dada Inua Jamii (Empower a Sister) campaign, an effort to recognize women and girls as core pillars in the development of Kenya’s society. The campaign includes a four hour documentary series which is airing on various channels, including Kenya Broadcasting Company, the country’s public station. The campaign is also collaborating with the country’s largest media companies and utilizing various media platforms to share stories of citizens who are bringing positive change to the lives of Kenya’s women and girls. In addition to increasing public dialogue, the campaign aims to encourage policymakers and government leaders to take action by allocating resources and implementing necessary laws, policies, and programs that benefit women and girls. Most recently, Half the Sky Movement hosted a high-profile discussion forum with the country’s Anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Board to elevate discussion around the prevalence of FGM within the region and steps to end the practice.
In India, the influence of cinema is both widespread and deeply rooted. There is also a mounting research that links on-screen violence to actual violent behavior in real life. Working with Save the Children India, the Half the Sky movement launched a national campaign, Frame Her Right, to re-envision how society perceives women and girls. Highlighting gender disparities in Indian cinema, the Half the Sky Movement is urging India’s Censor Board to improve its certification and rating system to reduce violence against women and girls in film. By the end of 2015, the campaign aims to have 100,000 petition signatures supporting this effort. The campaign film, Uncensored, was viewed more than 80,000 times in its first day online.
Half the Sky Movement – India Profile [PDF, 865K]
Half the Sky Movement – Kenya Profile [PDF, 505K]
Last updated: June 19, 2015