Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Written by: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Significance: From two of our most fiercely moral voices, this book is a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.
Storyline: The novel follows both 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.
Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s 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; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.” - halftheskymovement.org
This book can serve as a catalyst for Women’s Fund members to see the issues that are affecting women internationally and perhaps understand that they can help many women with just a little help.