The Film

Coming October 1 and 2 to PBS stations nationwide

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour PBS primetime documentary film and national broadcast event inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Girl with hands in prayer position in front of her face

Girl at New Light Crèche in Kolkata, India

Photo by Joshua Bennett

Filmed in 10 countries, the series follows Nicholas Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. 

The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.

The series is part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative, spearheaded by ITVS in partnership with CPB and PBS.

The Filmmakers

The Filmmakers

A team of veteran filmmakers collaborated to create to bring the stories and ideas of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's best-selling book to public television audiences nationwide.

The Authors

The Authors

New York Times reporters and Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn guide readers on an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there.

The celebrities

Celebrities and Advocates

Some of Hollywood's top talents traveled with Nicholas Kristof to Somaliland, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Sierra Leone to meet the women on the front lines of the campaign to secure human rights of women and girls worldwide.

film crew


Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide was created by Show of Force, LLC and Fugitive Films, LLC in association with PBS and ITVS. It is presented on PBS as a special presentation of Independent Lens.

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Presented by ITVS, funded by Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional program funding provided by the Ikea Foundation, US Agency for International Development (USAID) (in partnership with FHI-360 and C-Change), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Seedling Foundation, the Nike Foundation, the United Nations Foundation.;

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is not in any way affiliated with or in partnership with the Half the Sky Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 1998 to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. For more information about the Half the Sky Foundation, visit