– October 28th, 2011 by Sarah Smith –

Half The Sky: An inspirational book about woman

I recently read the National Bestseller Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. These two authors are also married, and are the first couple to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Writing this book took them all over the world, and they uncovered many brutal truths about the mistreatment of women.

I decided to write this editorial because I do not want this book to be contained to just an honors class. I want to spread the word and raise awareness of the issues that are right in front of our noses; there are so many opportunities available. The excuse of “How am I, one person supposed to make a difference in a global issue?” can be erased from minds. It does make a difference, and Colby-Sawyer College as a whole can change the world. After reading this book, I believe we can.

The book is intermitted with stories and people who have done something and made a difference. Reading it I learned about how one woman rallied a town into taking down the leader of a gang who tormented, raped, burned, and maimed people all day. This one woman led hundreds of women to the court where he was hiding for his own protection and as a group they took him down. I felt amazing after reading that story, go women! There was a story about one girl who had an obstructed childbirth, which caused problems that led her to be left out for the hyenas to eat. But she was phenomenal, she beat them off with a stick, dragged herself a day’s journey to the nearest hospital and got treatment. To this day she is still working around that hospital, treating women who had problems just like she did. These women themselves are intense and inspiring; they have no money or the commodities that Americans and CSC students have today. It makes a person grateful for what she has.

There are also many stories of how a little can go a long way. Micro-financing is a great way to help women start up their businesses. Or starting a dollar program, asking people to donate a dollar, eventually you will have collected a great sum of money. There are so many ideas and programs out there which people just aren’t aware of! Reading this book would be the best start; you learn what need there is for the money and what a little help can do. It’s both an inspiring and eye-opening novel.

A recurring theme throughout this entire book is the importance of education. If a woman is educated, she has a decent change in life; there is such a need for education especially for women. Women have proven to be more beneficiary recipients than men are. Nearly 100 percent of the time women use money and education to help their families whereas men would squander the money on leisure or personal wants. Women are at a loss right now, and I as a woman myself can feel the need to step up and help. There is no reason why Colby-Sawyer College can’t start its own program.

In fact, at the end of the novel there is a section “Four Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes,” and I am going to share them with all of the “Courier” readers so that we can start helping those in need.

1. Go to globalgiving.org and www.kiva.org and open an account. Both sites are people-to-people (P2P), meaning they link you directly to a person in need overseas, and this makes them an excellent way to dip your toe in. Also try a third site, www.Giveology.com to help children pay for primary school in developing countries.

2. Sponsor a girl or woman through Plan International, Women for Women International, World Vision, or American Jewish World Service.

3. Sign up for e-mail updates on www.womensenews.org and a similar service, www.worldpulse.com. Both distribute information about abuses of women and sometimes advise on actions that readers can take.

4. Join the CARE Action Network at www.can.care.org. This will assist you in speaking out, educating policy makers, and underscoring that the public wants action against poverty and injustice. This kind of citizen advocacy that is essential to create change.

5. And the last step is one I add: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/get-involved. This is the website’s alphabetized list of programs with a description of each. Go check it out, you are one click away!

This is just the beginning! Imagine what we as a college full of young and bright minds can do. On Nov. 12, WuDunn is coming to Colby-Sawyer College for the What Women Want Now: New Hampshire Women’s Caucus. I encourage you to attend. I hope all you readers will go and pick up a copy of this book–or borrow mine and start reading. My fellow students, let’s start making a difference in people’s lives.

One Response to “Half The Sky: An inspirational book about woman”

  1. Margaret Wiley says:

    HI Sarah- Many thanks for your excellent article on Wu Dunn and Kristoff’s book. My Intro to Gender Studies class has just read it, and it sparked a lot of conversation.

    WuDunn is coming to CSC on Nov 12! She is the keynote speaker for What Women Want Now: the N Women’s Caucus. And we have 100 tixs to give away FREE to CSC students, so spread the word.

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