Race4Change fixer and all-round Kenya hipster Gabriel Kadidi just sent me some pictures of himself and delectable Olivia Wilde. He missed the opportunity to title his email: ‘Wish You Were Here?”
For those who don’t know, Olivia Wilde is an American film and TV star (The O.C., House etc), currently in Kenya recording a documentary on women’s empowerment. Lest you should think Olivia is on some celebrity bandwagon, let me tell you that mum Leslie is a 60 Minutes producer and journalist, dad Andrew is a fellow Irishman and journalist and sister Chloe is a civil rights attorney in New York. This girl has activist DNA coursing through her veins.
Olivia is participating alongside America Ferrera and Marisa Tomei in a documentary version of the widely acclaimed book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The NBC film is set to air next Autumn, and will also feature Nicole Kidman *sigh*, Lucy Liu and Diane Lane.
Written by Pulitzer husband and wife, Nicholas Kristof and Shryl WuDunn, the book tells the story of a journey through Africa and Asia, where more girls were killed for their gender in the last fifty years than men were killed in ALL of the wars of the 20th Century combined. Is that not incredible? The Amazon review also points out that more girls are killed in routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in ALL the genocides of the 20th Century. It’s jawdropping stuff.
Half the Sky tells how this century will be about the struggle for gender equality in the developing world. Publishers Weekly called it “…a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. Far from making moral appeals, the authors posit that it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty if only a fraction of women participate in the labour force. The authors reveal local women to be the most effective change agents.”
As you know, this is also our position. The wonders that flow from the equality of women is why we are racing to raise awareness of the importance of women’s empowerment, and the effectiveness of microfinance as a way to achieve that goal. If you support the ideology behind “Half the Sky” then you are half way to being on our team. DONATE HERE and go the whole hog.
Be the change you want to see in the world! Here’s some video of one of Funk’s early visits to Kibera: legendary, love-life stuff.