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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Nicholas D. Kristof, Author, Sheryl WuDunn, Author
Nicholas D. Kristof, Author, Sheryl WuDunn, Author . Knopf $25.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-307-26714-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-59887-928-5
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Paperback - 335 pages - 978-986-120-221-1
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New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, WuDunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. “More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century,” they write, detailing the rampant “gendercide” in the developing world, particularly in India and Pakistan. Far from merely making moral appeals, the authors posit that it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty if only a fraction of women (9% in Pakistan, for example) participate in the labor force. China's meteoric rise was due to women's economic empowerment: 80% of the factory workers in the Guangdong province are female; six of the 10 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese. The authors reveal local women to be the most effective change agents: “The best role for Americans... isn't holding the microphone at the front of the rally but writing the checks,” an assertion they contradict in their unnecessary profiles of American volunteers finding “compensations for the lack of shopping malls and Netflix movies” in making a difference abroad. (Sept.)

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