half the sky

title: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

authors: Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

genre: Non-fiction, gender equality, violence against women

dates read: May 2nd – May 6th

review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

summary: Kristof & WuDunn are a married couple that seek to discuss the issues of inequality that women worldwide are facing, primarily women in third world or developing countries.  They discuss violence against women, lack of basic freedoms (leaving the house, education, medical attention, etc.), and the general attitude of a woman’s role in her society.  They seek to show how the negative ideals impact not just the individual woman but her surrounding community and society as a whole.  Using personal stories gathered from their travels, and showing the impact of sometimes very small changes, they support their claims that changes in a woman’s status and role can have a ripple affect and do a world of good.

personal thoughts: What powerful testimonies and sometimes gut-wrenching stories!  I know I’m so blessed to live in a country that allows me to get a higher education, let alone an elementary one, but this just highlights even more what I have.  I loved how many success stories they had from around the world, and how many wonderful organizations are out there to support the awesome work these women are doing.  This book was mentioned in my first read and I’m really glad I picked it up.  The last section of the last chapter highlighted some ways to get involved and I would definitely like to do so.  I highly recommend this book.

favorite quotes:
“Women aren’t the problem but the solution. The plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity.” xviii

“promoting gender equality is crucial to combat global poverty.” xx

“When India feels that the West cares as much about slavery as it does about pirated DVDs, it will dispatch people to the borders to stop traffickers.” Chapter Two – Prohibition and Prostitution

“The best role for Americans who want to help Muslim women isn’t holding the microphone at the front of the rally but writing the checks and carrying the bags in the back.” Chapter Nine – Is Islam Misogynistic?

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