Half the Sky

Topics: Nicholas D. Kristof, Violence, Sheryl WuDunn Pages: 5 (2157 words) Published: December 19, 2012
1) How would you convey the message of the book “Half the Sky” to family, friends, and colleagues? This book is a crucial dose of reality for those of us that are spoiled by the comforts we have grown used too. Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn explain in the book “Half the Sky” why empowering women in the developing world is ethically right and extremely vital.It is a gripping story of how customs and culture have historically oppressed women. The strength of the human rights movement and of actual change across all cultures is going to be asteadfast task of courageous women who give themselves permission to say no to so many years of unthinkable tyrannical cultural customs and fight for a new way of life. Many of us close our eyes to what is going on in other countries and assume there is nothing we can do to change things. But as Edmund Burke said, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” 2) What was the most valuable thing you learned from reading the book? There are some many stories in this book of women being abused and belittled, which would have made me give up reading it if it had not also had some of the most inspiring stories. Many of these women never gave up. They could easily have let death take them or succumb to the lives they were forced into but they didn’t. We have all heard stories about sex trafficking and how women are treated in these countries but this book brings the tragedies into the spotlight unlike any book I have ever read before. I know that my problems seem small compared to these women and young girls but this book has given me hope that I can overcome my own problems. It definitely teaches a lesson that hope is never truly lost as long as you do not give up.It also shows that evil never really wins. 3) In “Half the Sky” we meet women and girls from around the world. How are their situations similar, despite the unique challenges that they face? Most of the women and girls have been kidnapped and forced into this life to havetheir spirits broken through rape, threats, and humiliation. They wind up pregnant and their children are then forced into this life as well. Sex slavery has gotten worse in the last few decades. “One reason for that is the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and Indochina.In Romania and other countries, the immediate result was economic distress, and everywhere criminal gangs arose and filled the power vacuum. Capitalism created new markets for rice and potatoes, but also for female flesh.”(Kristof, Nicholas D and WuDunn, Sheryl, 2009) Globalization is also another factor in why sex slavery has gotten worse because it is now easier and less expensive to visit other cities or countries. AIDS is yet another factor in this increasingviolation of human rights.Being sold has now become a death sentence to many of the women in these brothels. 4) Of all the women and girls featured in the book, was there one whose story impacted you the most? Why? I felt great sympathy forevery story but the one that impacted me the most was Mahabouba’s. She was a teenager and did not expect to be sold, raped, and beaten. The most horrible part is when she got pregnant and ran away to find her family. She wound up trying to have the baby herself but her pelvis wasn’t large enough for the baby’s head. The baby died and Mahabouba lost control of her bladder and bowels and could not walk anymore. People claimed she was cursed and her uncle left her in a hut to be eaten by wild animals. The villagers removed the door to her hut and she had to try to fend off the hyenas through the long night.She crawled to safety to a Western missionary in a nearby village who saved her life. She is now walking again but has to forever wear a colonoscopy bag. It is unfathomable to hear about anyone living through this but it is especially hard to hear when it happens to someone so young.(Kristof, Nicholas D and WuDunn, Sheryl, 2009) 5) How was that...

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