IKEA Foundation joins the growing Half the Sky Movement

The IKEA Foundation is joining a global movement using stories, videos and social media to lead the fight to empower women and girls in developing countries.

The Foundation has awarded a €700,000 (1million USD) grant to Half the Sky Movement, supporting an innovative effort to inspire people all over the world to join the fight against the oppression and exploitation of women and girls in developing countries.

The project uses film, social media and the internet to share the stories of women and girls who, despite living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable, are fighting bravely to change their lives and those of others around them.

Creating opportunities

“Our vision at the IKEA Foundation is a world where children living in poverty have more opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their families,” explains Per Heggenes, who is the head of IKEA Foundation.

“Empowering women is an important way to create opportunities for children. Yet when the injustices against women often are deeply ingrained , change can be very challenging.  So we are offering support as yet another way of pushing for that change.”

Educating and inspiring

The aim of the project is to educate people and inspire them to get involved and invest their time, money and ideas to fight global poverty by helping unlock women’s power as economic catalysts.

Ignited by a high-profile television event beginning in Fall 2012 and fueled by a host of hi-tech initiatives, Half the Sky has an innovative plan to get people to rally behind the cause:

  • Television: A four-hour television series for international broadcast, shot in nine countries.
  • Game: A cutting-edge social impact game, hosted on Facebook, in which exciting virtual game play triggers corresponding real-world, charitable action.
  • Mobile games: Four mobile-based social impact games—addressing the issues of maternal health, sex trafficking, domestic violence and gender norms—for distribution to millions of cell phones in India, Kenya and Tanzania.

“What women and girls in the developing world need is a path to create their own livelihood, their own careers and their own means to financial independence,” says Sheryl WuDunn, coauthor (along with her husband, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof) of Half the Sky:

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, the book that inspired this movement.

“Building an understanding about that message around the world is a critical step to helping women and girls, and the Half the Sky multimedia project plays an important role in doing just that, thanks in part to the support of IKEA Foundation.”

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