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Life Series
The Right to Choose

Women are denied human rights in Ethiopia and northern Nigeria.


A printer-friendly version of this page 24 minutes
Directed by Charlotte Metcalf
Produced by Television Trust for the Environment
Series Editor: Robert Lamb
Executive Producer: Jenny Richards
Series Producer: Luke Gawin



Nibret is eleven -- and they're marrying her off to a man she's never met. Forced marriage isn't unusual in northern Ethiopia. It helps to cement ties between families and establish land rights. Besides, claim Ethiopian scholars, there are no schools for young women, so why not marry them off early?

It's a view shared by some Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria. They believe women's role is to comfort men, and see nothing wrong with marrying girls as young as seven, often in polygamous marriages.

This program reports on the dissonant voices arguing for change in local cultures -- and the calls for reproductive health care and primary education for women. Does widespread discrimination and violence against women now constitute a violation of human rights on a massive scale?

The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at www.tve.org/life/archive/life8main.html

The other titles in the series are:

1. Life: The Story So Far - How the globalized world economy affects ordinary people.

2. Geraldo Off-Line - Globalized economy affects Brazilian factory worker.

3. From Docklands to Dhaka - English MD travels to Bangladesh to improve community health.

4. An Act of Faith: The Phelophepa Health Train - A group of health professionals tours the most deprived regions of South Africa providing care.

5. The Philadelphia Story - Globalized economy affects American jobs.

6. The Boxer - Young male looks to escape Mexican poverty by becoming a boxer in the United States.

7. The Seattle Syndrome - Were the WTO protesters right in their effort to protect workers and the environment from exploitation?

9. At the End of a Gun: Women and War - The devastating effect that the civil war in Sri Lanka is having on women.

10. The Summit - The UN General Assembly meets to review progress on social justice worldwide.

11. All Different, All Equal - Examines progress in women's rights globally.

12. India Inhales - Activists combat tobacco companies that target India.

13. The Silver Age - Growing population of elderly worldwide seeks purpose and care.

14. The Cost of Living - AIDS drugs unaffordable in developing countries.

15. The Posse - Rap group in Sao Paulo, Brazil, expresses social problems.

16. Credit Where Credit is Due - Micro-credit organization in Bangladesh provides loans to village poor.

17. Regopstaan's Dream - Bushmen fight to live on ancestral land in South Africa.

18. Untouchable? - The caste system and bonded labor are still alive and well in India.

19. Because They're Worth It - Micro-credit, education, health information, and hope provided to impoverished Chinese.

20. For a Few Pennies More - Iodine deficiency causes health problems in Indonesia.

21. In the Name of Honour - Kurdish women fight for their rights in Northern Iraq.

22. God Among the Children - Community organization works with at-risk youth in Boston.

23. Without Rights - Palestinians are denied human rights.

24. Lost Generations - Poor health and poverty condemn people in India to sub-standard lives.

25. Educating Lucia - The odds are against girls getting an education in Zimbabwe and throughout much of Africa.

26. A-OK? - Examines prospects for Vitamin A distribution programs in Guatemala and Ghana necessary for children's health.

27. Bolivian Blues - Explores the success of new initiative to reduce widespread poverty.

28. The Outsiders - Explores the moral and economic dilemmas that adolescents face in the Ukraine today.

29. The Debt Police - Uganda seeks external debt relief and fights internal corruption.

30. The On-going Story - Final episode examines the international community's commitment to linking social and economic development with human rights.

NOTE: A second series called City Life is now available.



Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000     Copyright Date: 2000
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-472-9     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-866-9




Reviews
"An illustration of the grotesque consequences of treating women as property or, even worse, as financial liabilities."
Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado

"A very powerful film. It presents a world where women are valued only for their reproductive and economic uses. They are denied basic rights...Students can gain a lot from this video...it is well suited for graduate and undergraduate classes."
Teaching Sociology (Magazine)

"Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of gender, anthropology of kinship and marriage, and comparative cultures, as well as general audiences."
Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver, Anthropology Review Database


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The Right to Choose


"An illustration of the grotesque consequences of treating women as property or, even worse, as financial liabilities." Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado


Links
www.tve.org/life/archive (Producer's web site)
www.tve.org/life/archive/life8main.html


Subjects
Activism
African Studies
Anthropology
Developing World
Economics
Ethics
Gender Studies
Geography
Global Issues
Globalization
Health
History
Human Rights
Humanities
International Studies
Islamic Studies
Philosophy
Reproductive Rights
Social Justice
Sociology
United Nations
Women's Studies


Related Titles

Stop the Traffick
Investigates horror of child sex industry in Cambodia.

Young Wives' Tales
Very early marriage threatens young girls' health and survival.

Till Death Do Us Part
Widows are denied inheritance and property rights in Nigeria.

Welcome to Womanhood
Efforts to stop female genital mutilation in Uganda.

A Question of Rights
Looks at the state of women's human rights in Ethiopia, Latvia, Jamaica and Fiji.

A Woman's Place - Short Stories
Six short films about women and development by local women directors.

Not The Numbers Game (BBC Version)
The role of women in solving development and population problems worldwide.

Shakuntala Kazmi in India
A low-caste Hindu, Shakuntala Kazmi fights for women's rights.

All Different, All Equal
Examines progress in women's rights globally.

At the End of a Gun
The devastating effect that the civil war in Sri Lanka is having on women.

In the Name of Honour
Kurdish women fight for their rights in Northern Iraq.


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