This is a continuation of last week’s article featuring ways that you can help, even virtually from miles or oceans away. Half the Sky by the married Pulitzer Prize winning married couple Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn provides detailed background on how turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide is a necessity for viable economies and healthy societies.


(SEE FIRST ARTICLE HERE: https://alphafemalesociety.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/half-of-half-the-sky-alphafemalefriday/ )

These are the last seven chapters of Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

1)      CHAPTER EIGHT – Family Planning and the “God Gulf”

Lack of both family planning and contraception can be traced to gender inequality. In southern Africa, young girls are forced into unprotected sex with middle-aged men. This only proliferates and spreads the AIDS/HIV epidemic.

2)      CHAPTER NINE – Is Islam Misogynistic?

Islam is not inherently misogynistic. Verses are often mistranslated. For example, the Koran verse 4:34 is usually translated “as for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and beat them.” This same passage has been translated by scholars “as for women you feel are averse, talk to them persuasively; then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them), and go to bed with them (when they are willing)” (Kristof and WuDunn, p. 152).


3)      CHAPTER TEN – Investing in Education

Education is power, and empowering women leads to more productive societies. Women must become numerate and literate in order to contribute meaningfully to their communities.

4)      CHAPTER ELEVEN – Microcredit: The Financial Revolution

“Microfinance has done more to bolster the status of women, and to protect them from abuse, than any laws could accomplish. Capitalism, it turns out, can achieve what charity and good intentions sometimes cannot” (Kristof and WuDunn, p. 187).


5)      CHAPTER TWELVE – The Axis of Equality

“Women for Women International is effective because it touches people at the grassroots level. This kind of bottom-up approach in development work has repeatedly shown its superiority in bringing about economic and social change” (Kristof and WuDunn, p. 219).

6)      CHAPTER THIRTEEN – Grassroots vs. Treetops

Grassroots projects are more effective when they are “propelled by exceptionally bright and driven social entrepreneurs who had encountered the ‘treetops’ efforts and modified them to create far more effective bottom-up models. This is a crucial way forward for a new international movement focusing on women in the developing world” (Kristof and WuDunn, p. 229).


7)      CHAPTER FOURTEEN – What You Can Do

List of Organizations to Familiarize Yourself With

–          Women’s Campaign International which is dedicated to increasing the participation of women in political and democratic processes worldwide www.womenscampaigninternational.org

–          Women’s Dignity Project which was confounded by an American woman to facilitate the repair of obstetric fistulas in Tanzania www.womensdignity.org

–          Women’s Learning Partnership which emphasizes women’s leadership and empowerment in the developing world www.learningpartnership.org

–          Women’s Refugee Commission which is linked to the International Rescue Committee and focuses on refugee women and children www.womensfugeecommission.org

–          Women’s World Banking supports microfinance institutions around the world that assist women www.womensworldbanking.org

–          Women Thrive Worldwide which is an international advocacy group focused on the needs of women in developing countries http://www.womenthrive.org



1)      Visit www.globalgiving.org or www.kiva.org and open an account. Both sites are P2P (people-to-people). The site www.givology.com initially focused on China and has expanded to India and Africa.

2)      Sponsor a girl or woman via Plan International, Women for Women International, World Vision, or American Jewish World Service.

3)      Sign up for e-mail updates on www.womennews.org and www.worldpulse.com

4)      Join the CARE Action Network at www.can.care.org




SOURCE: Kristof, Nicholas D., and Sheryl WuDunn. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. Print.



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