Vienna | UNIS Vienna
A heart-warming film about empowering elderly rural women, “Bring the Sun Home”, was shown in Vienna as part of the UN Information Service’s monthly Ciné ONU Vienna film series to mark International Day of Rural Women and United Nations Day.
The film follows the story of two illiterate women from an El Salvadorian village without light and electricity, Maura and Rosa. They attend a course at Barefoot College, India, to learn how to install, repair and maintain solar panels. These women had never left their families before, do not speak English and at the beginning, the entire training endeavour seems impossible. Yet, it might just be this social uprooting, being far away from everything they know, that stimulates them to achieve things they did not think they could. Two other women, Jeny and Paula from Peru, who have just returned from India, are proof that the Barefoot College is a place where the impossible becomes indeed possible. They are wives and mothers who are now self-confident solar engineers, travelling from village to village to bring the sun home.
The film highlights the great potential of empowering elderly women for the benefit of their rural communities. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly emphasized that gender equality and women’s empowerment is at the core of the Sustainable Development Agenda: “Indeed, rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 SDGs.”
The Ciné-ONU Vienna screening was the premiere of the film in Austria. It was followed by a panel discussion with experts in the topic of the film. Lilly Sucharipa, President of the National Committee for UN Women Austria, and Peter Baumann, co-founder of Engineers without Borders, joined Chiara Andrich, one of the co-Directors, for a lively debate on promoting women’s empowerment, building sustainable communities, providing quality education as well as clean and affordable energy. The event was moderated by UNIS Vienna Director Martin Nesirky, and was supported by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations (Vienna) and the National Committee for UN Women Austria.