From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our eras most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.
With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.
They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.
Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing womens potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; its also the best strategy for fighting poverty.
Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.
Half the Sky is full of practical advice for the movement as a whole, as well as for individuals who wish to make sure their dollars are truly helpful on the other side - not just a way for us to feel like we're contributing, but a way to truly make a difference in the global struggle. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand the issues at hand or find a way to help, and I think it should be required reading in high schools across the country. (Reviewed by Beverly Melven).
The Washington Post - Carolyn See
I really do think this is one of the most important books I have ever reviewed. I may be wrong, but I don't think so.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
As Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" once catalyzed us to save our birds and better steward our Earth, "Half the Sky" stands to become a classic, spurring us to spare impoverished women these terrors, and elevate them to turn around the future of their nations.
Starred Review. New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, WuDunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide.
Intelligent, revealing and important.
The New York Times
Passionate yet practical . . . [Half the Sky] is both stirring and sensible . . . This wonderful book combines a denunciation of horrible abuses with clear-eyed hope and some compelling practical strategies. The courageous women described here, and millions more like them, deserve nothing less.
The New York Times - Irshad Manji
…this gripping call to conscience…tackles atrocities and indignities from sex trafficking to maternal mortality, from obstetric fistulas to acid attacks...but the poignant portraits of survivors humanize the issues, divulging facts that moral outrage might otherwise eclipse.
Every once in a while, a book comes out with such a compelling message that you have no choice but to be moved and take action in response to it... I encourage you to get at least two copies -- one for yourself and one for a woman you love.
I think it’s impossible to stand by and do nothing after reading Half the Sky. It does what we need most, it bears witness to the sheer cruelty that mankind can do to mankind.
Khaled Hosseini, author, The Kite Runner
An unblinking look at one of the seminal moral challenges of our time. This stirring book is at once a savage indictment of gender inequality in the developing world and an inspiring testament to these women’s courage, resilience, and their struggle for hope and recovery. An unexpectedly uplifting read.
The stories that Kristof and WuDunn share are as powerful as they are heartbreaking. Their insight into gender issues and the role of women in development inspires hope, optimism, and most importantly, the will to change. Both a brutal awakening and an unmistakable call to action, this book should be read by all.
Recent Reader Reviews
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... Read More
Rated of 5
by Theresa Alada Half the sky Reading this book opened my eyes to a lot of problems been faced by a lot of women and girls in this century. lets all not just seat and listen to this stories but try to aid in one way or the other and it will make a lot of difference in many... Read More
Guides to Giving
Kristof & WuDunn frequently mention two websites that can help readers decide which charitable organizations to give their money to. These two sites - GiveWell.net and CharityNavigator.org rate charities based on efficiency and other factors and make that information public. You can see whether $90 of your $100 goes to those in need, or only $65. There are more factors than just efficiency of course, but the more information donors have, the more likely it is their money will be used in the way they imagined. Both sites cover charities in general and are not specific to charities that help women in developing countries.
Charity Navigator has dozens of top-ten lists, such as 10 Highly-Paid CEOs at Low-rated Charities, Slam-Dunk Charities, and Inefficient Fundraisers. You can search by the type of charity or its location. They have a section for charities in the news, tips on how to spend your charity dollars wisely, and an area for public comment. This website is full of useful information in an easy-to-use...
This is the long-hidden saga of how a handful of Americans and Kenyans fought the British colonial government, the U.S. State Department, and segregation to "airlift" to U.S. universities, between 1959 and 1963, nearly 800 young East African men and women who would go on to change the world.
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