Review–Half the Sky

Reading the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide transformed my perception of the issues that women and girls face around the world. It moved me outside my comfort zone into the reality of the 21st century.

Half the Sky is a well written and researched book by a husband and wife team about the oppression of women and girls in the 21st century.  Nicholas Kristof is a writer for the New York Times and has been writing about women’s issues for many years. Sheryl WuDunn, who was also a correspondent for the Times, is now a business executive and lecturer. Kristof and WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize together for their coverage of China and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. They’ve co-authored two other books before this, both non-fiction studies on Asia, and both have several journalism awards between them. Kristoff won a second Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his commentary on Darfur and other global situations.  WuDunn was named by Newsweek in 2011 as one of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

Half the Sky deals with a variety of issues including: human trafficking, maternal health, education of girls, violence against women and girls, economic empowerment and more. However, the book deals with these dark issues in a compassionate way, always leaving you with a story of hope and simple ways for you to make a difference. This book made me realize that I am a woman empowered, and that I need to use my voice to assist women and girls who are in oppressed situations. You can’t just read this book and not do anything.

I recommend this book to all women and young adult women. I have given this book to family members and friends and have participated in numerous book discussions (it’s a great book for a women’s book discussion). I highly recommend reading this book: Don’t be surprised if you become a voice for women and girls around the world.

(Contributed by Barbara Anderson, national president of American Baptist Women’s Ministries 2009-2012. You may visit Barbara’s blog at A Woman Destined for God’s Purpose.)

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