I began reading Half the Sky on the plane, at the beginning of a 5 hour plane flight across the country. I finished it on that same plane flight. I found myself unable to put the book down, unable to stop thinking about the reality which many women in this world face everyday. Kristoff & WuDunn presented a clear reality: connecting the dots of the forces at work which keep nations in our world stuck in perpetual strife and prevent development across this planet. At the core of this is women’s rights (or the lack thereof), and at the forefront of this- education and health. An unquestionable parallel exists between education, freedom, and economic opportunity/growth and the authors expand upon this.
The true power of Half the Sky, to me, lies therein. Many moments in this book are dark, painting a picture for the reader of terrible injustice, horrific treatment, and brutal imagery. Yet this book bridges the gap between devastation and hope, portraying darkness alongside light, and presenting a variety of real solutions and answers.
Prior to reading Half the Sky I paid little attention to women’s issues beyond Title IX. After finishing it, I am keenly aware of the gravity of the situation, and what can be done to be a part of the solution to a problem that should receive far more attention than it does. It was a draining and thought-provoking journey into the lives of many of those women.