by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
I was introduced to Half the Sky by a teacher in my Freshman year of college, and I am grateful to have read it.
Half the Sky is the type of book that can change the way you look at the world and at yourself. It is informative, emotional, passionate, essential and an absolutely necessary read. The book speaks of unrecognized oppression of women in underdeveloped countries and presents ways in which this can be overcome.
Written in a form of numerous informative essays, Half the Sky presents stories of how women are forced into sexual slavery, beaten, raped and ignored by public authorities who simply turn their head and pretend nothing is happening. Authors, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, give voice to the women who have been silenced by their cultures and the systems dictated by their governments. The book raises awareness about the oppression of women in certain areas of the world and demonstrates how some of these women fight for themselves.
The authors use statistics and anecdotes to depict the absolute evil being done to women. They explain how women are refused proper healthcare and education, and tell horrifying stories that will leave the reader in shock.
In the second part of the book, Kristof and WuDunn elegantly present ways in which the outside world can help improve conditions for these women. However, they explain that the matter is not as black and white as it might seem to the American eye. Some of the women in these cultures react angrily to outside help, claiming it is their culture and the outside has no place in trying to change things.
Anyone interested in humanity and women’s rights should pick up a copy of Half the Sky. It is an objective presentation of unrecognized, reoccurring issues in our world today- and possibly a life-changer.