Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
(Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, 294 pages)
This is our March title for the SCC “Between the Covers” book club. It was a title I’d been wanting to read but never really made the priority to bump up in my to-read pile because I knew the content would be upsetting/stressful. The book looks at what needs to be done to provide women around the world with the opportunity to be seen as worthy members of their societies. This book was hard to read at times, but that’s because the lives some women around the world have to lead are HARD. Just a few of the things covered in this book are: sex trafficking; maternal mortality; maternal health; rape; the need for education for girls; female genital mutilation; and microfinancing to provide women with opportunities to stand on their own and demonstrate their worth.
This book was incredibly moving and on more than one occasion my jaw dropped because it was difficult to even comprehend some of the scenarios recounted. Half the Sky is meant to serve as a call to action. It’s a call to stand up and do something to ensure that women around the world don’t continue to be given the status of second-class citizens. It’s “easy” to have the knowledge of these things that happen to women around the world in the back of your mind because you don’t really have to think about it on a regular basis. It’s not at the forefront of your daily life. This book makes you think about what’s happening and put it in context with the life you’re able to lead here in America. Kristof and WuDunn highlight a number of different charities and organizations that are making women and their needs a priority and the book makes you want to get involved – it makes you want to do something to ensure that women around the world are given the opportunities they deserve.
I thought this was a great read and I already have some charities in mind that I would like to contribute to. Next, I need to watch the documentary. Can’t wait to talk about it at book club on April 3!