I want you to read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (find it on www.amazon.com). It’s an amazing book. It caught my eye in an airport bookstore because I read Kristof’s op-eds in the New York Times. (He focuses on global issues like human rights abuses and poverty and has been tireless in his efforts to keep the Darfur conflict in the public consciousness. I think if he had a thought bubble above his head, it would say “Where’s the outrage already?”)
Half the Sky uses the stories of individual women to bring to life the most pressing issues related to gender inequality. The first-hand accounts are compelling, showing both what happens when something or someone intervenes to help a woman and when no help comes. The underlying message in the book is that things can change, must change, for women today, particularly in Asia and Africa. With a tone both real and optimistic, Kristof and WuDunn make the case for tapping into the potential of the world’s girls and women through education and empowerment. At the end of the book, the authors list these four steps that can be completed in ten minutes:
- Go to www.globalgiving.org or www.kiva.org and open an account.
- Sponsor a girl or woman through Plan International, Women for Women International, World Vision or American Jewish World Service.
- Sign up for e-mail updates on www.womensenews.org and a similar service, www.worldpulse.com.
- Join the CARE Action Network at www.can.care.org
Do you have ten minutes today? Take these four steps and tell your friends to do it, too. It will make a difference.