Normally, the use of Facebook turns into an exercise in cyber-stalking and time-wasting. (“Oh, he lives in Texas now?”) The Half the Sky Movement, behind the best-selling book and a critically acclaimed PBS series, wants to turn your minutes on Facebook into a way of improving the world. Journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are seeking to raise awareness of women’s issues through a Facebook game.
According to Co-Exist, the game also has real-world consequences; for example, users who collect books for girls in the game set off a donation to Room to Read, a non-profit organization that builds schools, libraries and trains teachers in literacy education. Sponsors have also put up $500,000 in donations that players can unlock. In addition, players can make direct donations to organizations like Heifer International, ONE and the United Nations Foundation.
The game launches on Facebook today, and serves as an excellent reminder that, in many parts of the world, women’s struggles consist of access to basic needs, not a philosophical question of “whether they can have it all”.