|Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
narrated by Cassandra Campbell
In Half the Sky Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn share a heartbreaking study of oppression of women around the world. It begins with a long section on the sex trafficking of women, sharing personal stories of many victims. Girls may be told that they are about to go to earn money selling fruit in a city, and then they are kidnapped, beaten and raped until they submit to prostitution. Some are born into brothels. Many who escape or are rescued from their situation return "willingly" because they know no other way to make a living and they are stigmatized in their community for their past occupation. And many return because they crave the drugs that their pimps have forced upon them to keep them complacent and needy. The book also explores lack of freedom to get educated, honor killings, genital mutilation, and maternal mortality.
Half the Sky was a difficult read because it's hard not to be dragged down by the pain these women have experienced - and that millions worldwide are still experiencing. This is a powerful and important book, and I believe that everyone even remotely interested in the topic should either read this book or watch the documentary that is based on it.