If any book will ever motivate you to care about larger global human rights issues and living conditions, this one will! The problems the authors describe are horrendous, yet they manage to bring a message of hope and success, and offer suggestions on what can be done to help.
I didn't agree with their overly politically correct attitude towards the role of culture and religion in contributing to third-world problems, but they certainly have a wealth of experience to bring to the discussion.
Among the most important
It exposes the shocking plight of millions of women in the world, AND it informs us of concrete ways to help. It is devastating in the horrors it reveals, and uplifting in the hope it evokes.
I was very reluctant to give to charities because I distrust organizations (why give anything if most of it goes to administrators or gets dissipated if not worse?), but this book directed me toward alternatives where such fears are circumvented.
In an age of increasing strife, corruption, fanaticism and selfishness, helping women everywhere to take their proper place in the world may well be our best way to survive.It should be noted that cultures than produce the worst violence and fanaticism are those in which women are the most oppressed. A deep reason underlies this: women are the ones that bring up children, and women suffering from oppression transmit this unconsciously to small boys who become deeply conflicted and frustrated men drawn to violence, oppression and fanaticism.
I live, breathe, read.
It’s hard to escape the escalating decline in world conditions. Whether it’s refugees’ stories from far flung war-torn countries, or reports involving the abuse of our environment and its critters, there is no limit to the different forms of media that are reporting global events non-stop. Even if the view outside our kitchen window is generally uneventful and peaceful, books like Half the Sky are a cold slice of reality pie.
Half the Sky focuses on human rights violations against women around the world, but mostly in Africa and Asia. Divided into areas of concern such as sex trafficking, systematic rape, maternal mortality, and illiteracy, Kristof incorporates statistics with personal life stories. Many of them were hard to listen to, and at one point I found myself stuck in rush hour traffic sobbing into my sweater sleeves. As “advanced” as mankind is, why are things like this still going on today? Why are these things generally unknown, although they’re not taking place in secret? I enjoy documentaries and books like these because they make me more aware of what is going on around the world. If all I believed was based on what I saw on the news, I’d be one short sighted individual.
Pee-Wee Herman summed me up when he said: “I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.” I mention him because my only complaint about this book, call me a pragmatic idealist if you want, was that I don’t like being told what to feel. A compelling life story was almost always followed by a proposed plan of action that equated the group of women to monetary assets. Everything was reduced to dollars and cents. I get it, people higher up won’t focus on these women’s issues if it’s not profitable, but isn’t that the sad part to begin with? What’s a life worth? No matter how much is donated to certain causes, or how many laws are passed, it ultimately can’t change the way people think or feel, let alone how they treat others. I guess I would have prefered the journalistic touch without the agenda. Just my musings, at any rate. Highly recommended if you’re interested in current events in regards to the oppression of women, and what is being done to bridge these injustices.
Audiobook addict with eclectic interests.
This book should be required reading in every high school in the United States. If every young person could read, understand and appreciate this book our world might be a better place. At the very least we would appreciate how lucky we are. I love the fact that there is some balance between the horrible oppression reported and the success of those who have managed to overcome their circumstances --- there is some hope. This is one of those books where you have to stop listening long enough to google the people, organizations, and events mentioned because you want to know more than the book provides.
LIfe-long reader, fond of mysteries, scifi, fantasy. Prefer good story-tellers, with interesting premises. Road warrior-so listen a lot!
This book is chilling in its presentation of the callousness in most of the third world toward women and by extension their children. These authors tell individual stories, apparently personally gathered, of women who have been caught up in sex trafficking, , maternal neglect, rape as an instrument of war, and the acceptance of domestic violence and violence as control of women. They weave these horrific stories with statistics and success stories - and a persistent drumbeat on how education can help to empower these women.
Unfortunately, they becomes repetitive in her insistence that everyone needs to spend a few months in the third world living with these problems, and at the same time, she derides the aid workers who flood in, live like kings, and do very little good because of lack of understanding of the local milieu. The end thus becomes much less interesting.
The reader however, does an excellent job, and I listened to her with pleasure.
At first , I wanted to put it down , as just another sad story. I continued anyways and it was not long before the inspiration revealed itself.
Knowing there is progress, and a list of ways to help make a difference, makes this book unique and deems it worthy of passing on to any and all who will listen.
I'm insisting my daughter read it.
I did not read the print version.
too many to mention
statistics blew me away.
Think you have problems? You dont.
I was glad I found so many disparaging reviews about the presentor speaking monotone. Though it almost kept me from getting the book. I listed to the preview and got a glimpse of what I would hear and I was prepared. But actually, I DID NOT find her monotone AT ALL!!! On the other hand, maybe it was because I EXPECTED her to be so.
You should TOTALLY still buy this audiobook - the narrator isn't unlistenable....she's just not at all the kind of narrator this (or any) book needs.
Her voice is a bit nasal.
She sounds like an elitist asshole.
She sounds super super "white"
I'm caucasian...but i just hate that snooty white lady voice.
Ok, i've ranted enough about the narrator.
This book is incredible. It's brutal, but still inspires you. Best thing I've listened to since "Behind the Beautiful Forevers"
To say that this book is life-changing may seem overstated but I don't think so. What is revealed here is so eye-opening. Based on real life experiences and carefully researched facts and statistics, I have gained a new perspective on the world.
At times it was heart wrenching and unbelievable to learn what girls and women in the world endure every day of their lives.
But even if deeply disturbing, the book was full of beautiful redemptive stories of hope.
The simple and practical suggestions at the end of the book are a perfect conclusion.
Read it only if you are ready to have your heart changed.
A very important world problem which was poorly written. Too much republican bashing (i am not one), too much of an information commercial. Some charities talked about send very little money where it is supposed to go.