Women and Girls Lead: Reporting on the Unseen

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Sheryl Wu Dunn is a journalist and author of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” co-written by her husband, journalist Nicholas Kristof.  Their book became a best seller in 2009 and is now being turned into a multi-platform transmedia project that includes a four-hour PBS program coming in 2012.

During a recent visit to Denver, Wu Dunn talked about her start in journalism and how she and her husband were inspired to write “Half the Sky.”

Route to China (:49)

After Sheryl Wu Dunn and Nicholas Kristof were married, they went to China, where she took her first assignments as a journalist and began to roam the vast country in pursuit of stories.

Chinese girls (1:30)

It was during these years that they started to notice the way women in China and other countries faced poverty, oppression, and violence, and the seeds for “Half the Sky” were planted.

Half the Sky (:42)

Where the title of the project comes from. 

Sex trafficking (1:02)

Wu Dunn says women everywhere, including in the U.S., can be drawn in by predators who want to use them for sexual slavery and prostitution – and the problem affects more women than you might imagine.

Somali brothel (1:17)

One of the stories in the upcoming “Half the Sky” documentary is that of a remarkable woman who escaped sex slavery in Somalia and returned to rescue as many other women as she could.

Micro finance (1:33)

One method to attack poverty in third world countries which has had sustainable success is micro-lending.  Wu Dunn explains why it has often worked best when it’s focused on helping women start their own enterprises – rather than men. 

Diversity of opinion (:55)

Around the world, women continue to be in the minority when it comes to high-powered decision-making in fields like finance.
Flood the marketplace (:38)

And Wu Dunn believes the only way to achieve the necessary diversity of opinion is to “flood the marketplace” with women in every industry. 

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