Book Review: “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

The title of the book stems from Chairman Mao’s proclamation that women hold up half the sky. They are empowered with half of the responsibility of world affairs.

This book provides the readers a snapshot and the state of the oppression of women around the world. From starvation, to lack of health care, to trafficked sex trades, to rapes, the readers are fed with plenty of evidences and stories of the how the women and girls are mistreated all over the developing world. I was flabbergasted by the horror and the sufferings many women/girls endured by their fellow human being.

This is a rude awakening to those who live in the developed countries that there are still many girl/women being treated like 3rd class citizens, mostly because of misguided beliefs – both cultural and religious. Ultimately, this is a human right issue – regrettably true. The author stressed that the key to turning this situation around is education. By educating women, even through TV soap opera, the women got to see their worth and how women are being treated outside of their own tribe. In a way, education and mass media are the great equalizer.

Through books like this, hopefully, many the opportunities for women lie ahead – for my daughter’s sake.