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.
The Girl Effect
What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.
Srey Rath is a self-confident Cambodian teenager whose black hair tumbles over a round, light brown face. She is in a crowded street market, standing beside a pushcart and telling her story calmly, with detachment. The only hint of anxiety or trauma is the way she often pushes her hair from in front of her black eyes, perhaps a nervous tic. Then she lowers her hand and her long fingers gesticulate and flutter in the air with incongruous grace as she recounts her odyssey.
Rath is short and small-boned, pretty, vibrant, and bubbly, a wisp of a girl whose negligible stature contrasts with an outsized and outgoing personality.When the skies abruptly release a tropical rain shower that drenches us, she simply laughs and rushes us to cover under a tin roof, and then cheerfully continues her story as the rain drums overhead. But Rath's attractiveness and winning personality are perilous ...
The questions and topics that follow are intended to enhance your group's conversation about Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's enlightening and inspiring book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
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).
Full Review (930 words).
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 ...
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