Thursday, November 18, 2010

Half the Sky

Women hold up half the sky
Chinese proverb

I was chatting with a frind recently about the incongruous nature of what I am feeling with regard to education and the female gender (groan, I am NOT in any way a feminist!), but she pointed me to this article written by Nicholas D. Kristof (a New York Times Op-Ed columnist) and Sheryl WuDunn (a former Times correspondent), which was absolutley fascinating to me!

IN THE 19TH CENTURY, the paramount moral challenge was slavery. In the 20th century, it was totalitarianism. In this century, it is the brutality inflicted on so many women and girls around the globe: sex trafficking, acid attacks, bride burnings and mass rape....

... in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos. There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bankto the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That’s why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.

Food for thought huh?

This essay is adapted from their book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which will be published next month by Alfred A. Knopf. You can learn more about “Half the Sky” at

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