Showing posts from March, 2012

Rule by rape

Half  the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn has more practical suggestions for transforming the world than any other book I know. It is painful to read. The first chapters are so packed with excruciating information, “the brutality inflicted routinely on women and girls in much of the world,” I could stand to read only small chunks at a time. Its detailed evidence of sexual violence against women and girls—honor killings, bride beating, bride burning, genital cutting, forced prostitution, rape as a tactic of war, acid to disfigure, and selling of 7- and 8-year-old girls into sexual slavery—tells us that gender violence and discrimination is the paramount human rights problem of our time. Indeed, it tells us that nothing would do more to ameliorate the problems of the world than raising the status of women. I say it’s painful, but you will read Half  the Sky easily, with absorbed attention, because these journal