USAID Promotes Gender Equality and Empowerment Through Half The Sky Multimedia Initiative

Posted on September 13, 2012, by USAID

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its continued support of women, girls, and families launched a series of 18 short educational and advocacy videos aimed at increasing global awareness and bringing about social change for critical health, and gender equality and empowerment  as part of the Half the Sky Movement. 

The Half the Sky Movement is a multi-donor, multimedia platform based on Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Through the FHI 360-managed Communication for Change (C-Change) project, USAID provided support to the Half the Sky Movement which is developed by Show of Force in collaboration with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

The 18 videos  produced by Show of Force were filmed in India, Kenya, Somaliland, and Liberia for use by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and other groups that advocate for and work to bring about community-level change on issues such as family planning/reproductive health, maternal and child health, girl’s education, sex trafficking, women’s economic empowerment, and domestic violence. The videos were filmed in partnership with a number of NGOs working in health and development, including Deworm the World, CARE, IRC, Population Council, SEWA, Girl Child Network, Pathfinder, and others that will engage these products in their existing programming.

“The most effective way to ensure long-term, sustainable development is to create opportunities for women and girls around the world,” says USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.  “I am pleased that USAID is a partner on the Half the Sky Movement, supporting the creation of educational and empowerment tools that will help women and girls build better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

According to Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, “The challenges facing women and girls around the world need support from all sectors, so USAID’s commitment to the issues is critical.”

The videos will be distributed through NGO partners in country and will be available online  through C-Hub, a global online repository of health and development communication materials, managed by C-Change, as well as through the Half the Sky Movement website.  The videos are also available on USAID’s website.

Through C-Change, USAID has also supported the development of three mobile phone games on health and gender equity, which will be launched in October 2012 for use in East Africa and India. These games were produced by Games for Change under the Half the Sky Movement. The centerpiece of the Half the Sky Movement is a four-hour PBS television series filmed in 10 countries, which will be premiered on October 1st and 2nd.


The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years.

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