WIIS Global’s March book club read, Half the Sky, is a nonfiction book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn regarding what they call “a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.” It touches on a variety of issues including education inequality, sexual and gender based violence and maternal mortality. Its ultimately hopeful message has been a call to action against gender inequality for readers all over the world.
Our program assistant Maeve first read Half the Sky in 2014 as a freshman in high school when it was given to her as a gift from a teacher. As a kid from a privileged background in Massachusetts, Half the Sky was her introduction to the world of human rights and feminism in an international context. Revisiting this book six years later, while pursuing her degree in international affairs, and nearly 11 years since it was published, she has criticisms, but we at WIIS believe that much of the content of this book still resonates today. Half the Sky makes the world of feminist, international relations theory accessible to the average reader. Through its expertly woven storytelling and information dissemination, the reader need not be an IR geek to engage with this text.
Things to consider: