Half the Sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide

51nP6EDfu0L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgSome of you might know that Emma Watson, who starred as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies and is Belle in Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast (in theatres March 17!!!!!!) is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador and has a feminist book club. I really want to get involved in the book club someday when I have time to participate and read the book is being read at the right time.

Half the Sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide is the first book I chose to read off of Emma Watson’s book list. Given the current global climate, it felt like a very poignant choice, especially as I see things I read about exacerbating or coming to light in new ways.

During the “research” of Half the Sky, Nicholas and Sheryl travelled the world – from Thailand and India, to Ethiopia and Tanzania, and a bit in the United States, where they met women who are fighting back against oppression while also talking about what life is like for women in different parts of the world. It’s such an amazing book.

Nicholas and Sheryl met women in countries like Cambodia and India who would be from rural villages and promised good jobs in cities only to be forced into brothels to be abused and raped by men if they refused to have sex and were often given drugs to force compliance through dependency. The tragedy of such a reality is heartbreaking. The opposite side of the coin is that some women were able to leave and make a life for themselves; one woman even started a nonprofit to help other women leave brothels and rebuild their lives.

I could spend a great deal of time describing to you the stories of strong women around the world who have faced adversities and oppression that a privileged women like myself will never have to. It’s all together heartbreaking and eyeopening and I came away feeling like I learned so much. I also came away feeling so inspired about the kind of future that some of these women are helping build through their creation of or participation in schools, hospitals, or nonprofits.

There is so much beauty in this book and I hope you will consider reading it.

Title Half the Sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide
Author Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
Genre(s) Politics & current events, human rights
Publisher Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date
September , 2009
Pages 320

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