Half the Sky

The audiobook binge continues, and I'm 3/4 of the way through Nicholas Kristof (and his wife?)'s 'Half the Sky'.  Women, developing nations, criticism and praise of efforts mounted to solve their problems, and personal stories of heroes from the bush who rise above the hand they are dealt to make some difference.

One. I miss college, and having to read about these people, problems, and solutions (am I the only one who gets wistful at stories about oppressed women?)
Two. The world is a really depressing place for so much of the world (forget about violence against women, I need to articulate a rant against the idealistic view we have of community in the third world!)
Three. There are people (women mostly, at least in this book) who shake things up and make things better
Four. I want to be ones of these women.  But I don't know how.

Here's the video about the book.  There are some famous people in it

Sex trafficking. Domestic violence, Community ostracization, Maternal health (or lack thereof), Illiteracy, Women as property, as nothing.  There's not much more depressing and empowering (at the same time!)

The book quotes Bill Gates, speaking at a conference in Saudi Arabia who, when asked if SA was realistic in aiming to be in the top 10 of tech countries by 2015, responded, "If you're not utilizing half of your population, no, it's not realistic." (wonder if that came from Bill or Melinda)

Carbon copy that to any goal for any group, anywhere in the world.  If you're not utilizing half of your population, no, you're not getting anywhere.


Cari said...

Excellent post. I can see that we do have "an idealized view of community in the third world" and I look forward to reading your rant about it.

Jodi said...

i read that book a little while ago. loved it. makes you feel pretty lucky as a woman to be born where and how we did.

Tom and Heather said...

My book club chose this book tonight for next month's read. I'm super excited.