From the exhibit: Saima Muhammad’s daughter, Javaria, is in school and ranked first in her class. Her father, once disdainful of girls, now says, “Girls are just as good as boys.”Photo by Nicholas D. Kristof

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and YWCA Evanston/North Shore are partnering to present the Midwest premiere of a special exhibition at the Museum. “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” identifies one of the central moral challenges of the 21st century – full equality for the world’s women.

Inspired by the book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the exhibition challenges visitors to take action to improve the lives of women and girls locally and globally.

The exhibition was organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. “We’re honored to present this exhibition and programming, not only because it shines a spotlight on gender inequality, but also because it provides opportunities for our community to come together to enact change – here at home and in developing nations,” said Karen Singer, President and CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “Promoting fairness and equity, challenging injustice and racism, and improving the lives of women and girls is the core of our mission at YWCA.”

“‘Women Hold Up Half the Sky’ is moving and uplifting, both in design and content. It beautifully tells the stories of ordinary women who are accomplishing extraordinary things,” said Museum CEO Susan Abrams. “This exhibition seeks to educate and inspire our visitors and allows them the opportunity to take immediate action.”

The exhibition runs through Jan. 22, and will include an array of public programming including an opening event on Sept. 25. The museum is located at 9603 Woods Dr. in Skokie.

Most events are free to the public, and all events require reservations at