Thursday, 21 April 2011

Kristof, Nicholas D. & WuDunn, Sheryl "Half the Sky"

Kristof, Nicholas D. & WuDunn, Sheryl "Half the Sky. How to Change the World" - 2009

"Half the Sky" - What shall I say about this book other than it is the most extraordinary one ever? Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are an American-Chinese journalist couple who have travelled the world and give us a heart-rendering account of women's lives all over this globe, women struggling to make ends meet, women who have to fight for every little thing but especially for their life.

The authors don't just tell us about the problems that exist in various parts of Africa and Asia, they also come up with a lot of ideas on how to help these women, ideas that already work, ideas that help. That is the best thing about this report, it gives us hope that something can be done to end this misery and injustice.

The subjects go from human trafficking, slavery, prostitution, rape, honour killings to genital mutilation, maternal mortality, family planning, education, microcredits, anything you can think of that can be done to a human being will be done somewhere, and it's usually the women who have to suffer.

They also have started a foundation, read more about it here: "Half the Sky Foundation"

This book can change your life. Read it.

We discussed this in our book club in May 2012.

From the back cover:
"A call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake a journey through Africa and Asia to meet an extraordinary array of women struggling under profoundly dire circumstances: a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery; an Ethiopian woman left for dead after a difficult birth; an Afghan wife beaten ruthlessly by her husband and mother-in-law. But we meet, as well, those who have triumphed—a formerly illiterate fistula patient who became a surgeon in Addis Ababa; an Indian woman who saved herself and her children from prostitution—and those who make it their work to provide hope and help to other women: the victim of gang rape who galvanized the international community and created schools in rural Pakistan; the former Peace Corps volunteer who founded an organization that educates and campaigns for women’s rights in Senegal. Through their stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to progress lies in unleashing women’s potential—and they make clear how each of us can help make that happen.

Fiercely moral, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen."

The authors won the Pulitzer prize for their reports about China in the New York Times in 1990. 


  1. As you say: Not just telling the important story, but making constructive suggestions to fix things. That's how it stands apart.

  2. Exactly, and I'll be forever grateful to you for suggesting this book to me. Thanks, name sister.

  3. This name sister will be reading it next!

  4. That is great. We should start a group called "Mariannes who read Half the Sky". Please, let us know how you liked it.