Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Lesson Plans and Film Modules

Through the lens of the maternal mortality crisis in Somaliland, students will examine the social, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to the differences in healthcare — both between and within countries, including the United States — and the importance of maternal health in their own communities.

From the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Students will follow the journey of Fulamatu, a 14-year-old rape survivor in Sierra Leone, as she attempts to bring her perpetrator to justice. Through her story, students will examine the culture of impunity that enables gender-based violence to flourish, and the impact this issue has on our own communities. Students will also be challenged to consider the factors that contribute to violence against women and girls, and how they can contribute to local and international efforts to eradicate it.

From the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Students will meet Nhi and Phung, two students in the Room to Read program in Vietnam, and learn about their struggles and successes as they pursue their education against all the odds. The activities in the lesson will also engage students in a conversation about the value and meaning of education in their own lives and the impact of the gender imbalance in education on the lives of individual girls around the world and our communities at home.

From the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

This lesson will demonstrate how the economic empowerment of women in Kenya has improved the lives of the individual women and their families and communities for generations to come. Through the activities, students will explore what life is like for millions of people around the world and in the United States who are struggling to live on two dollars a day, and what choices and sacrifices they would have to make in the same situation. They will also consider how and why women and girls around the world are disproportionately affected by extreme poverty and will examine the ripple effects of women’s economic empowerment on individuals, families, communities, and societies.

From the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

This lesson will examine the global trafficking crisis through the lens of intergenerational prostitution in India. Through this lesson students will learn that there are more people living in slavery today then at any time in history and consider the causes and consequences for women and children who are disproportionately victimized by the global commercial sex trade.

From the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Community Classroom 7

About this collection

A Women and Girls Lead curriculum collection inspired by the PBS documentary series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide based on the best-selling book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Five lesson plans align with six short film modules that focus on gender-based violence in Sierra Leone, education in Vietnam, women's economic empowerment in Kenya, maternal mortality in Somaliland, and sex trafficking and intergenerational prostitution in Cambodia and India.

Students will learn deeper context for issues affecting women and girls worldwide, make connections to issues in their own communities, and gain skills to get involved locally and globally.