Notes on Filming

Several NGO partners featured in the broadcast want to share their perspectives on the filmmaking process, specifically as it relates to survivors of violence, sex trafficking and forced prostitution. We at the Half the Sky Movement are grateful for their viewpoints and insights, and proud to be their partner.


The production team behind Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide diligently translated and communicated all release documents signed by persons appearing in the film. We received verbal and written consent from each of the individuals featured in the film. For all minors we consulted and received full consent from parents and/or guardians. At no point did the production team aim to exploit or violate the privacy of anyone in the film.

All the choices to show individuals’ faces and identities were made in the effort to bring the audience closer to these stories, to connect directly with the women and girls living these issues everyday; to empathize and be compelled to act. We hope that by looking into the eyes of a trafficked girl, a viewer gets a cleared picture of the reality of child prostitution, and is compelled to do something about it. We did not want to portray our subjects as faceless victims, but as strong women facing adversity.

We stand behind the work that we have done while fully understanding these are very complex and sensitive issues. There is no easy solution and we urge all viewers to support the great work being done by our NGO partners to end the oppression of women and girls.


The International Rescue Committee

In West Africa and around the world, silence too often hides the violence that many girls and women suffer.  The International Rescue Committee respects the decisions of the individuals we assist—standing together and supporting women and girls who wish to break the silence and speak out about their experiences, and safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of those who do not.

Fulamatu felt strongly about her desire to share her experience publicly and be featured in Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. She had the full support of her parents and the IRC to do so. Fulamatu has said that she hopes her participation in the documentary will raise awareness about the violence that afflicts many girls in Sierra Leone. 

The IRC’s Rainbo Centers in Sierra Leone provide survivors of violence with medical care, counseling and referrals to police, when they wish to press charges, as Fulamatu did.  The IRC worked closely with the Half the Sky movement to document these services. 

However, the IRC has no involvement in the incarceration of alleged perpetrators. Fulamatu, her parents and the Sierra Leonean police gave consent to the Half the Sky movement to film subsequent police activities and the events that would later unfold.  These scenes were filmed independently of the IRC, without our facilitation or involvement.

Fulamatu recently expressed hope to become a mentor someday to other young survivors of sexual violence.  In the meantime, she continues to receive educational and other support from the IRC.

New Light Foundation