CGI2010 Empowering Women + Half the Sky

Last week at the Clinton Global Initiative 2010, former President Bill Clinton announced that CGI will now make protecting and empowering women a top priority. Thanks to the continued efforts of people like Mallika Dutt, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, as well as dozens of NGOs around the globe, the difficult issues that women face are now receiving global attention.

One of the CGI commitments related to women is led by Mallika Dutt, Executive Director of Breakthrough and a member of the Games for Change Advisory Board.  She reported on Breakthrough’s progress on Bell Bajao, an anti-domestic violence campaign and mass media project.  The initiative leverages multiple forms of media to prove that social change could be as easy as simply ringing a bell. Breakthrough and its partners wanted to create a way to have communities protect their neighbors and show to one another that help is never too far away.  Even though the act of ringing a ball is small, the reach of the campaign is huge. From blogs, local leadership programs, online video, photography and blog contests, an information van that travels around and shows informative Bell Bajao videos plus the usual social media outlets like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

Mallika’s work is highly related to another trans-media project in the works geared towards protecting and empowering women. “Half the Sky – Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” is a book written by reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The book is receiving incredible praise and with it they plan on bringing the message to more people using similar avenues as Bell Bajao.  Earlier in the year, Sheryl WuDunn spoke at TED Global about the issues. Through the powerful stories of a few women, the book addresses the fact that “women are not the problem, they are the solution.” The pair of writers learned that when these oppressed women harness their strength and receive equal access to the education and the economic resources that men have, they can dramatically improve their lives and change the situation for other women worldwide.

Games for Change is excited to be working with the Half The Sky team to develop the game components to this project that will include also other trans-media components like a PBS prime-time TV event, web documentaries, mobile applications and dedicated work by local NGOs in Asia and Africa.  More announcements on this project are coming soon, as we hope to involve the developers and designers of the G4C community in this exciting project.  For now, check out Sheryl WuDunn’s full TED Global talk below:

Sheryl WuDunn’s 2010 TED Global talk.

To get the full story on Half The Sky, visit the movement’s website:

To learn more about Mallika Dutt’s project, Bell Bajao, go to the official website:


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