Leanne's Reviews > Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof
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Jan 04, 12


This is by far the book I am most glad that I read during 2011. It was educational, powerful, shocking, challenging, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. Countless times I stopped reading to absorb what I had just read of what a woman somewhere in the world had lived through - the tragedy and suffering described was so needless. But what makes this book so special is how it is so solutions-focused, I admire that the authors have gone beyond academically approaching a momentous global social, cultural and financial issue but have clearly made finding, funding and publicising solutions to be their life's priority.

One passage that particularly struck me was:
"In the 1790s it was common to dismiss the abolitionists as idealistic moralisers who didn't appreciate economics or understand geopolitical complexities...In the same way, these days, the 'serious issues' are typically assumed to be terrorism or the economy. But the moral issue of the subjugation of women isn't frivolous today any more than slavery was in the 1790s. Decades from now, people will look back and wonder how societies could have acquiesced in a sex slave trade in the twenty-first century that, as we've seen, is bigger than the Transatlantic slave trade was in the nineteenth. They will be perplexed that we shrugged as a lack of investment in maternal health caused half a million women to perish in childbirth each year...".

I highly recommend this book to any reader and do not glibly say, it is a life changing read.
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