Talk 2: Sheryl WuDunn
Sheryl WuDunn speaks about gender inequality, specifically women. In India, girls die at a fifty percent higher mortality rate at the ages of one to five. She lists a few challenges that need to be tended to. The first being sex trafficking. Compared to the 1780s at the peak of the slave trade, there are 10 times the number of slaves trafficked across international borders. A slave back then was worth forty thousand dollars comparatively to today’s money. Today a girl can be bought for only a few hundred dollars, meaning that they are more disposable. Maternal mortality is the second challenge she lists. In Niger, one in seven women dies during childbirth. She tells about a woman named Mahabuba, a 13 year old girl in Ethiopia who is forced to get married and ends up having a baby. Having the baby causes her to have a fistula. She went through a lot of hardship with her village and eventually was able to get it fixed for a mere three hundred and fifty dollar operation. She then becomes a nurse and helps thousands of women. She then brings up something I find very interesting. She says that Mahabuba has become part of the solution, not the problem. She has moved out of a vicious cycle and into a virtuous one. Some of the solutions she talks about involve education and economic opportunity. Saima, a woman that lives Pakistan, goes through a hard time with an abusive husband who was unemployed. She got a sixty five dollar loan and turned it into a very successful embroidering business which created an opportunity for over thirty more women. It also gave her husband a job. Beatrice Biira, who lived in Uganda, was given an opportunity to go to school at nine years of age. Beatrice was very successful throughout school and got a college degree in the US. All of this was possible due to a hundred and twenty dollar goat donation to her family.
I believe that the main moral theory that is used in this talk is feminist ethics. Sheryl WuDunn main ideas in her speech are about inequality for women. Oppression of women globally is a big problem. In the beginning of her speech, she says that girls in remote areas are often expected to spend most of their life in the rice paddies. When the parents of Dai Manju decided that they were going to pull her out of school since the fees were too much. Through a donation she was able to return to school. Sheryl then talks about how it is rare to get an outside investment in girls’ education. Another good example of feminism is when she lists the statistic that more girls were discriminated to death in the last half century than all the people killed on all the battlefields in the 20th century. She talks about women not having the same opportunities as men in some of the countries that she references. In India, she says that girls die at a fifty percent higher mortality rate than boys. She also talks about people in poverty and how they spend their money very poorly. She says that most of that spending is done by men who in turn neglect money for education and instead use a large percentage of their take home pay on things like alcohol, tobacco, and sugar drinks.
I definitely agree with Sheryl WuDunn. I think that she lists several great examples of how females are often not given the same opportunities as males, especially in third world countries. There seems to be a general idea that males are the backbones of a family and therefore worth more in terms of providing what the family needs. Even here in the US I think that this is a problem that we face today. Males dominate many of the leadership roles simply because of their gender.
Sheryl’s ideas and goals are something I feel are realistically achievable. She brings up a good point when she talks about there being very few things in life that can elevate your level of happiness. One of them is contributing to a cause larger than you. I think that if...
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