Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder
A Must Read
Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is a “must read”. It is by no means an easy book to read; it is sometimes quite confronting; in places you will cry; you will be disgusted by the actions of some members of the human race, both male and female; the words and actions of some medical personnel, aid agencies, churches and governments will leave you gasping. But ultimately, this is a hopeful book. The authors explore causes of, and possible solutions to, maternal mortality, human trafficking, sexual violence, discrimination against girls and female genital mutilation. This book tells us that at least part of the answer is gender equality: educate and empower women. It is full of data, but also full of humanity. It has a few surprising facts about diverse things such as sweatshops, about Rwanda, about what interventions are and aren’t effective, about TV and about salt. It demonstrates how local knowledge and grassroots programs are most effective in educating and empowering women.
I found myself frowning, smiling, crying and, quite a few times, laughing out loud! I especially enjoyed the way the Huichol tribe in Mexico ensure that the pain of childbirth is shared. If you despair at whether you can make a difference to the plight of women in the Third World, this book shows that you can. If the only action a person can take is to donate money, then this book guides the reader to where that will be most effective. We owe it to every woman who has ever suffered in the Third World to read this book.