Half the Sky

Kristof, Nicholas D & WuDunn,

  11 Reviews

According to a Chinese proverb 'women hold up half the sky', but in this book it is not a clear blue sky as you might imagine, but one filled with the dark and ominous clouds of poverty, ill health and abuse. Concentrating on Asia and Africa, and basing the stories on their newspaper columns compiled over several years, journalists Kristof and WuDunn reveal the plight of many women in third world countries.

Simultaneously horrifying and inspiring this is an important book bringing to our attention not only the forces (cultural and political) that keep women disenfranchised, but the possible solutions we can be part of.

Comments from Groups

We were pleased we read the book even though it was shocking at times. Richmond 009

We found this the most difficult of books to read, but all appreciated doing so and many were profoundly moved - the 'call to arms' worked. Dunedin 006

Pretty hard-hitting and gritty! A must-read for all especially as the authors give practical, easy steps that we, the readers, can do to make a small difference to women in developing countries. A book that stays with you long after you've closed its pages. Taurange 032

The group have voted this their most challenging book but recommend it as a powerful read to other groups. The topics certainly led to great discussion. Christchurch 196

It was enlightening, at times depressing, but overall it was inspiring. While shocking, the stories of women around the world are very well written. Christchurch 301

A truly distrubing book and a real eye-opener. Stimulated huge discussion - provided lots of pragmatic solutions. We are amazed at the strength of the women who survive in this book and dumbfounded by the inequalities of things we take for granted. Pull your head out of the sand and read this book. Auckland 255



CHCH 194
We need to know to try to understand even a tiny fraction of what others suffer and how much we have to appreciate.
Not a pleasant read, very 'eye-opening'.
A lot of our group only got 2-3 chapters in and found the content too disturbing to continue. Equality for women is certainly not a reality for a lot of cultures; this book reminds us of this and how lucky NZ women are. We did not leap to help though - perhaps the problem seems too big.
We all got a lot out of this book. Someone in the group described it as like taking medicine - it may not be easy to take but it's good for you. The discussion we had was lively and interesting. Very good book.
This had to have been our most challenging read yet. Only 3 members completed the book with most others not reading much past halfway through. It prompted a lot of discussion about the under empowered women in Africa, India and Asia. It was a shame that most members did not finish the book to see that in small ways there is change, and that there are now ways that these women can be encouraged and supported to improve their lives. A book that must be read to the end.
WELL 024
Created good discussion. Uplifting as it provided possible positive outcomes.
NELS 009
This book had such an emotional impact on all our members - many were moved to help this cause, in different ways.
A book revealing the shocking and horrifying situation so many of the world's women find themselves in. Although a hard and rather reluctant read, we should all be aware of what they have to endure. But the saving stories of hope and help at the end of each chapter were inspirational.
WELL 156
50% of the group did not finish the book in the allotted time. The 50% that did finish gave such a glowing account that most of the non-finishers wanted the opportunity to finish.
Very informative, evoking shock, anger and concern. While the numbers will have changed in the 10 years since publishing, the personal stories and pictures were very effective. The poor performances of governments must be in large part unwillingness to force change in backward male dominated cultures.
While this was a worthy book, the shocking abuses of girls and women made it a very uncomfortable read. However, the examples of individuals and their journeys gave the book hope and interest.