Half the Sky Movement explained & why the game matters

Half the Sky Facebook Game
Half the Sky Facebook Game
Half the Sky Facebook Game

Sometimes explaining to someone who has never experienced biased, discrimination and lack of access to basic needs due to their  gender is almost impossible.

Its a man’s world

That is a phrase that is often used in explaining the lack of gender equality and why girls and women in always have the short end of the stick in most developing countries.

Despite all the statistics from numerous research undertakings done on the factors that lead to continued oppression of girls and women world wide,  the rest of the world still ‘Can’t get it’.

Half the Sky Movement
Half the sky movement is a cause that  seeks to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide through a transmedia project that uses video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools both to raise awareness of women’s issues and also to provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women.

The movement was inspired by inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide published in 2009.  The book argues that the oppression of women worldwide is “the paramount moral challenge” of the present era, much as the fight against slavery was in the past.

The couple then went on to start the movement that saw them enlist the help of Hollywood celebrities such as Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan and Olivia Wilde among others as advocates of the movement in 10 countries.

Kenya was among the countries selected where the movement would be launched and where various multimedia projects such as a Television Series, new song compositions, Games for mobile and Facebook platforms as well as content creation on the movement’s website  would be drawn.

The Facebook Game
The Facebook game was released March 4, 2013 and is aimed at increasing awareness and funds for women around the world. Players can explore stories and quests based on the real experiences of women and girls. The game was developed by Frima Studios and executive produced by Games for Change. 

With characters drawn from the various 10 countries such as Radhika and Aditi from India, Adhama and Sadiki from Kenya, An and Lien from Vietnam and Najiba from Afghanistan among other female characters, the game  re-enacts various scenarios and points of oppression for women requiring the player to maneuver those obstacles

Some of the obstacles/challenges are:

  • Speak up and save a life
  • School bookworms
  • The empowerment group
  • Get the HIV Treatments
  • A stop to violence
  • Family Planning
  • Step up your business
  • Delay Marriage for girl

The Game is the first Facebook game with direct virtual to real-life translation; the tasks and issue
s portrayed in the game all have a real-world equivalent in donations and social action opportunities. Players will embark on a global journey which begins in India, and moves on to Kenya, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, ending in the U.S. Along the way, players will meet different characters and take action in a very simple way by unlocking funds from the game’s sponsors to make direct impact.

For example, players can collect books for young girls in the virtual world and then activate a real-life donation of books to Room to Read (total of 250,000 books). Players can also choose to make personal donations to any of the game’s non-profit partners at any point throughout the game. NGO partners include the Fistula Foundation, GEMS, Heifer International, ONE, Room to Read, the United Nations Foundation, and World Vision.

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