Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by: Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
What is the greatest untapped resource? Women. Did you know that the US is 68th in the world for the number of women that hold political seats? Want to know which country is #1? Rwanda – at 56%. This book is filled with personal gut-wrenching stories of the oppression of women and the terrible health and education conditions that these cultures face: gender discrimination, sex trafficking, forced prostitution, honor killings, child marriages, etc. I honestly almost stopped reading after the first chapter, and then again hearing about fistulas, but I found myself mesmerized by the passion these women have. Each story is about how one woman fights for her basic human rights and goes to school, learns to read and write, meets with other village women, starts a business, and begins changing village culture.
The reason I like this book is because it argues that the number one way to solve poverty in these struggling nations is education, specifically girls’ education. By educating women, they gain the confidence to become acting member of society and they start handling family finances, practicing family planning, putting children’s health first, and increasing the GOP by contributing to the economy. Success comes more from these internal grassroots movements and by getting involved in small ways like funding micro-finance programs, writing your congressman, or get inspired and read (or listen to the audiobook) Half the Sky, or to watch the PBS special including testimonials of Hilary Clinton, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, and more.
What can you do in the next 10 minutes to help? Click here to see about how you can travel, donate, volunteer, or simply spread the word!
Oh, and make sure to take advantage of your own rights and VOTE!