Spotlight on Half the Sky


There tugging at my heart strings is an ever present need to take the gifts that I have been given and make a difference in the world. I have tried my best to give back where I can in my own community over time from volunteering as an in-take counselor for the Lighthouse Youth Services Teen run-away shelter in my early 20s to my current work with leadership, job transition and online safety/reputation management for parents. I enjoy helping people in each of these areas and I hope that I have made some small difference in their lives. Their individual stories stay with me as each one of them has uniquely touched my life.

Yet, in the quiet of the night or the oppressive heat of these late summer days, the voice whispers into my consciousness calling me away from my work. If I close my eyes, the voice takes form in the simplest of motions like the rustle of the curtains or the sighing of a breeze.

I know I am being called to make a greater impact; I can literally feel the tangible nature of it all. I truly believe in destiny and pre-determined path and find it fascinating that life can drop little clues like bread crumbs to nudge you along in keeping the idea alive.  I have been reading Nicholas Krostof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The book centers on the three major abuse areas affecting women today:

  • sex trafficking and forced prostitution
  • gender-based violence including honor killings and mass  rapes
  • maternal mortality

Not even half-way into this book and it is having a huge impact on me. “Half the Sky” gives some concrete examples of how an individual or small group can make a difference to affect the lives of these women who are seen as mere objects:  slaves. Have witnessed some great awareness-raising of the sex trafficking issue via the Cincinnati Freedom Center on Twitter. The Freedom Center released a report on the extent of human trafficking in the Greater Cincinnati area encompassing southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana. You can access the report here.

There is a group in Cincinnati that focuses on affecting how young girls in Cincinnati objectify their bodies and themselves. The True Body Project

“proposes to empower girls to identify and stay in their true bodies and maintain and grow their authentic voices and to advocate for the health and safety of girls and women everywhere.”

This group’s mission seems to fall in line with the mission of Half the Sky which is now a movement.

The best way to fight poverty and extremism is to empower women and girls.

Note: this video on human trafficking was made by a ninth grade student…..

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin ~2010 ~ All Rights Reserved

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