Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Recommendation: "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Vintage)

I only recently ran across this book and I quickly took it all in.  If you have ever wanted to get an honest assessment of some of the major problems facing our world and an accompanying set of solutions that should appeal to people of virtually all political backgrounds, this book is a great place to start.  The authors do not shy away from hard questions nor do they settle for easy answers.  Half the Sky focuses on the plight of women in peripheral (i.e. "third world") countries and attempts to make the case why improving the health, education and the influence of women is both a moral issue and is also vital to improving the welfare of the societies that make such investments as well.  In particular they emphasize that both in presentation and in practice such efforts should not be labeled "women's issues", both because of open and hidden misogynistic tendencies to dismiss women and because it doesn't fully capture the impact these issues have on all areas of life (they ask, for example, whether the Atlantic slave trade should have been considered a "black" issue).   It is now out in paperback and is available in electronic format (Kindle, Nook, etc) and might have made its way into your local library system, so check it out.
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