Read: Half the Sky: Turning Opression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Drinking: Red Wine
Actually, Half the Sky was required by the University of Maryland recently, and several other universities are requiring it for freshman reading. I first read it in Women and Development in graduate school, and it opened my eyes. I had already been focusing on Gender in my International Development degree, but Kristof and WuDunn cemented my desire to work with women.
In the book, Kristof and WuDunn describe the major challenges facing women throughout the world today in their struggle for gender equality and a life of dignity. They use examples of women who have overcome different challenges that face them around the world and are supporting other women and girls in the fight against repression and the specific trials women in developing countries face. From slavery to childbirth to education, women and girls face unique challenges that men do not face. Research has shown that even minimal investments in women, even simply more years of education to reduce number of children. Women are “half the sky” – that is, half the world population – and their under-investment and lack of human capital is stunting the world’s development.
I cannot stress enough how awesome this book is. If you are at all interested in international affairs, feminism, or the world, you should read this! It is absolutely the book that has had the most influence on me. Kristof and WuDunn even offer suggestions how the reader can make a difference.