Wamda Recommends: Half The Sky

An inspirational call to eradicate the needless suffering and enslavement of women around the world

Half the Sky

By Nicholas D Kristoff, Sheryl WuDunn

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that Half The Sky is the most important book ever written on the power of social entrepreneurism – and it is, in itself, a potent example of the kind of activism that genuinely changes lives around the world. Charting the often unbearable plight of women in the developing world, where they’re subject to the almost constant threat of rape or violence, or the prospect of death or permanent injury during labour, the book provides a series of engaging case studies on how local women are proactively confronting their situation.

Focusing on incredible stories like Edna Adam, who spent her live savings to build a maternity hospital in Somaliland, and Srey Rath, who was able to escape from enforced prostitution in Thailand and start a market stall in Cambodia to provide for her family, Half the Sky delivers a compelling message that changing the status of women around the world is not only possible, but can be an essential tool in global development.

Impassioned without being emotional, instructive without being hectoring, Half the Sky showcases how small acts from individuals and coordinated efforts from governments and aid organisations can deliver real improvements to communities around the world – and end the needless suffering of half their population.

Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity, Nicholas D Kristoff, Sheryl WuDunn (Vintage), 2010

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