The "Half the Sky" Movement
The Half the Sky movement is cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the defining issue of our time. Inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, Half the Sky brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to not only raise awareness of women’s issues, but to also provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women. Change is possible, and you can be part of the solution. The Series
The Half the Sky project includes a four-hour television series for PBS and international broadcast, shot in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S. Traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the series introduces women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable — and fighting bravely to change them. Their intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer an actionable blueprint for transformation. The series will premiere in the United States Oct. 1 and 2, 2012, with international broadcast to follow.
This TV series (and the book) provide a great opportunity for individual Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations to develop greater understanding of the global context of Human Rights for Women. And, with that great understanding, to pursue action steps in many ways – including partnering with the UU Holdeen India Program (donate) and the UU United Nations Office (donate) – both of which are actively engaged with partners around the world fighting for Human Rights for Women.
Charlene Spretnak Honored for Leadership in Women's Spirituality
Charlene Spretnak is the 2012 winner of the Demeter Award for Leadership in Women’s Spirituality. The award will be presented at the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM) national conference in San Francisco, May 11-12, 2012. Her presentation is entitled, Modernity, Mythology, and the Elusive Gestalt.
Ms. Spretnak’s work is internationally recognized in the areas of spirituality, cultural history, feminist and other social criticism, and ecological thought (Green politics, ecofeminism, ecophilosophy). In 2006 she was named one of “100 Eco-Heroes of All Time” by the publication of the British government’s Environmental Department.
She is one of the founding mothers of the Women’s Spirituality movement, through her work in the second half of the 1970s and the early 1980s. Her first book, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths reconstructed pre-Olympian myths for the first time in more than 2500 years; the Los Angeles Times called it “a poetic revelation.” [Two pieces from this work and several other references are included in Shirley Ranck's Cakes for the Queen of Heaven curriculum - Gretchen]
Her most recent book, Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness That Are Transforming the Modern World (2011), focuses on the “Relational Shift” seen in the fields of Education and Parenting, Health and Healthcare, Community Design and Architecture, and the Economy.
UN: Global Conference on Women in 2015
On International Women’s Day, Secretary-General, General Assembly President Propose Global Conference on Women in 2015, 20 Years after Beijing
Following is a joint announcement by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser:
The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz al?Nasser, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations would like to jointly propose the convening of a Global Conference on Women by the United Nations in 2015, 20 years after the last women’s summit in Beijing.
Given that women make up half of humanity and given the importance and relevance of women’s issues for global progress, it is high time that such a world conference is convened. It is all the more important because of the enormous changes the world is going through, with both positive and other implications for women.
The President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General feel confident the international community will welcome this joint initiative. They also hope that the Member States, who have the final authority to convene the proposed conference, could take the necessary steps during this sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly. They believe that the high point that the United Nations reached with the establishment of UN-Women in 2011 can be meaningfully substantiated with a global programme focusing on women that can be articulated at the Fifth Conference.
Belonging Values – Modern Morphing Replay
Walhonding Road, at the end of my street, is my pre-dawn destination for not-so-regular walks. Why? The urban symbolism of what I experience there gives my day’s work, usually for social change, much inspiration. It reminds me that sustainability is at the heart of any workable action plan. It reminds me to endure without giving way to power-over circumstances that can control my “balance”, “expressiveness,” “playfulness” and “openess to spirit.” (Note – all words in quotes come from a “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” resource, Carol Lee Flinders’ Rebalancing the World’s Belonging Values list.)
I seek to live with others in the pre-patriarchal forager ways (a redux for today’s needs.) It can be achieved by partnering with consensus decision making that employs complementarity, “mutuality” and “inclusiveness,” “generosity”, “deliberateness”, “egalitarianism”, “non-violent conflict resolution” (or management), and “self-restraint.” For my additional spiritual guidance, my Walhonding Road experience sparks awe-filled awareness of my “connection with the land”, my “empathic relationship to animals”, and to be a helpful inhabitant in my part of Earth’s biosphere, supporting healthy growth in the natural world (“custodial conservatism” which includes the motto, “What you have, you share.”)
These days many factors are often involved in making decisions, so that “ordinary deductive reasoning processes aren’t equal to the task.” So, with “affinity for alternative modes of knowing”, I try “to allow intuitive wisdom to come to the surface.” (Flinders quotes, again, to complete the Belonging Values list) All the Occupy consciousness raising brings a different national dialogue to the surface.