April 12, 2011

Book Review: "Half The Sky" By Nicholas D. Kristof And Sheryl WuDunn

I tried to finish this book for Women's Month (March) but I guess finishing in during Earth Month is okay too. I just finished reading "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." I was turned onto this book because of The Colbert Report where the author Sheryl WuDunn was interviewed. As a feminist, I thought I should expand my knowledge about the struggles women face globally. I know I'm lucky to have the rights that I do here in America. The title comes surprisingly from a quote of China's Communist party leader, Mao "Women hold up half the sky." I say a little more but hey.

After reading this book, you'll be shocked at the lack of rights the female population has but moved by the inspiring stories. The book is broken into chapters and in those chapters are sub-chapters that highlight an individual story. A great part of the book to me was about how to end terrorism. Having countries full of young men with no hobbies lead to violent nations. Educating women is the number one way to end poverty. It's such a simple concept, yet so many countries have yet to get on board. A great quote from the book was by Derek Bok who said, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." 

I think the African proverb mentioned in the book sums up the entire concept: "You educate a boy, and you're educating an individual. You educate a girl, and you're educating an entire village." It has been proven time and time again, if you educate your women your country will succeed.

And unlike most political books that just complain about the problem, this one actually ended with the chapter "What You Can Do." Read this book if you consider yourself a feminist. I'm just warning you, you will pull out your check book.

What books do you recommend reading?

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