Half the Sky.

This is a break in style for me, because “Half the sky.” is a book, not a movie.

Though if they make a documentary of it, I wouldn’t  be surprised.

This book is about turning the oppression of women around the world into opportunity for them.

As you know if you’ve been following me for some time, I am no feminist. I am also no activist. Not in the cultural sense of either term. But I would not let my political positions keep me from recognizing important issues.

Though the writers of this book do take a more Post-modernist/socialist approach to aiding women then I do.

But I won’t be blinded by the fact that we disagree on stuff. It doesn’t take away from how amazing this book is.

I have to say for its type, the book is brilliant. Normally books about world issues are kind of a dull read, not many people find facts and ideas all that interesting in nonfiction.

But this book is different. All the issues, from sex trafficking, to maternal mortality, to honor killings and rape, are presented through stories of real women. Most of whom beat the odds and went on to lead amazing lives, Some did not; but on the whole the stories were very inspiring. They all pointed to education as the common catalyst for a women’s empowerment.

I don’t think empowerment is as big an issue in the USA as it is just about every where else except Europe and a few wiser countries in the other continents. We complain when we don’t get paid a certain wage, or when we don’t have a lot of representatives in a certain field, but in most places it’s rare for women to have any say in any field. Even in how they raise their children or run their household.

It is not all the men’s fault either. Women are for some reason a lot more apt to hold themselves down then men are. Men tend to push the envelope, maybe it’s part of their nature; women tend to work with what they have. But what they have can be just about nothing.

With that in mind, this book is important. It’s important to now what’s going on in the world. Not every dirt has to be dug up, granted, but I don’t think issues that take the lives and rights of millions and millions of girls each year are minor or ignorable.

The book said that these issues get labeled as “women’s issues” and so they are put low on the priority list. And there is some truth in that. At least, when was the last time you heard mass rape and honor killings covered on the news? I hear about terrorist attacks far more often.

And that’s not wrong by any means. But I do think if women spent less time talking about clothes and makeup and stupid life tips on the air, and more time focusing on real world issues, it might get out there.

While I am not for making the government fund aid programs (it’s impractical) I am so for aiding programs by private citizens. The fact is those programs do better anyway. People connect more with individuals then with the UN or any other agency.

The book backs up it’s individual stories with research that is put in simple and easy to follow ways, and also  concise. The book is 250 pages long.

It’s not a short read, not for me anyway, but it’s better digested. One or two chapters at a time is about all you would need to get the most out of it.

So if you want to better educate yourself, definitely read this book.

Until next time–Natasha.



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