Half the Sky

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 6/1/2010
  • Publisher: Vintage

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $1.05
    Check/Direct Deposit: $1.00
List Price: $16.00 Save up to $12.00
  • Rent Book $4.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.

Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.

“These stories show us the power and resilience of women who would have every reason to give up but never do. They will be an inspiration for anyone who reads this book and a model for those fighting for justice around the world. You will not want to put this book down.”—Angelina Jolie

“If you have always wondered whether you can change the world, read this book. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have written a brilliant call to arms that describes one of the transcendent injustices in the world today—the brutal treatment of women.” —Fareed Zakaria, author, The Post—American World

Author Biography

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism; they won for their coverage of China as New York Times correspondents. Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer for his op-ed columns in the Times. He has also served as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo, and as associate managing editor. At the Times, Ms. WuDunn worked as a business editor and as a foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Beijing. They live near New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Girl Effectp. xi
Emancipating Twenty-First-Century Slavesp. 3
Fighting Slavery from Seattlep. 17
Prohibition and Prostitutionp. 23
Rescuing Girls Is the Easy Partp. 35
Learning to Speak Upp. 47
The New Abolitionistsp. 54
Rule by Rapep. 61
Mukhtar's Schoolp. 70
The Shame of "Honor"p. 81
"Study Abroad"-in the Congop. 88
Maternal Mortality-One Woman a Minutep. 93
A Doctor Who Treats Countries, Not Patientsp. 103
Why Do Women Die in Childbirth?p. 109
Edna's Hospitalp. 123
Family Planning and the "God Gulf"p. 131
Jane Roberts and Her 34 Million Friendsp. 146
Is Islam Misogynistic?p. 149
The Afghan Insurgentp. 161
Investing in Educationp. 167
Ann and Angelinep. 179
Microcredit: The Financial Revolutionp. 185
A CARE Package for Gorettip. 199
The Axis of Equalityp. 205
Tears over Time Magazinep. 216
Grassroots vs. Treetopsp. 221
Girls Helping Girlsp. 230
What You Can Dop. 233
Four Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutesp. 252
Appendix: Organizations Supporting Womenp. 255
Acknowledgmentsp. 259
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.



The Girl Effect

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.


Srey Rath is a self-confident Cambodian teenager whose black hair tumbles over a round, light brown face. She is in a crowded street market, standing beside a pushcart and telling her story calmly, with detachment. The only hint of anxiety or trauma is the way she often pushes her hair from in front of her black eyes, perhaps a nervous tic. Then she lowers her hand and her long fingers gesticulate and flutter in the air with incongruous grace as she recounts her odyssey.

Rath is short and small-boned, pretty, vibrant, and bubbly, a wisp of a girl whose negligible stature contrasts with an outsized and outgoing personality.When the skies abruptly release a tropical rain shower that drenches us, she simply laughs and rushes us to cover under a tin roof, and then cheerfully continues her story as the rain drums overhead. But Rath's attractiveness and winning personality are perilous bounties for a rural Cambodian girl, and her trusting nature and optimistic self-assuredness compound the hazard.

When Rath was fifteen, her family ran out of money, so she decided to go work as a dishwasher in Thailand for two months to help pay the bills. Her parents fretted about her safety, but they were reassured when Rath arranged to travel with four friends who had been promised jobs in the same Thai restaurant.The job agent took the girls deep into Thailand and then handed them to gangsters who took them to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Rath was dazzled by her first glimpses of the city's clean avenues and gleaming high-rises, including at the time the world's tallest twin buildings; it seemed safe and welcoming. But then thugs sequestered Rath and two other girls inside a karaoke lounge that operated as a brothel. One gangster in his late thirties, a man known as "the boss," took charge of the girls and explained that he had paid money for them and that they would now be obliged to repay him."You must find money to pay off the debt, and then I will send you back home," he said, repeatedly reassuring them that if they cooperated they would eventually be released.

Rath was shattered when what was happening dawned on her. The boss locked her up with a customer, who tried to force her to have sex with him. She fought back, enraging the customer. "So the boss got angry and hit me in the face, first with one hand and then with the other," she remembers, telling her story with simple resignation. "The mark stayed on my face for two weeks." Then the boss and the other gangsters raped her and beat her with their fists.

"You have to serve the customers," the boss told her as he punched her. "If not, we will beat you to death. Do you want that?" Rath stopped protesting, but she sobbed and refused to cooperate actively. The boss forced her to take a pill; the gangsters called it "the happy drug" or "the shake drug." She doesn't know exactly what it was, but it made her head shake and induced lethargy, happiness, and compliance for about an hour.When she wasn't drugged, Rath was teary and insufficiently compliant—she was required to beam happily at all customers—so the boss said he would waste no more time on her: She would agree to do as he ordered or he would kill her. Rath then gave in.The girls were forced to work in the brothel seven days a week, fifteen hours a day. They were kept naked to make it more difficult for them to run away or to keep tips or other money, and they were forbidden to ask customers to use condoms. They were battered until they smiled constantly and simulated joy at the sight of customers, because men would not pay as much for sex with girls with reddened eyes and haggard faces.The girls were never allowed out on the street or paid a penny for their work.

"They just gave us food to eat, but they didn't give us much because the cus

Excerpted from Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Sheryl WuDunn, Nicholas D. Kristof
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Rewards Program

Customer Reviews

It was a great deal April 15, 2011
Every person should read this book - woman or man - whether you have ever thought about women's issues before or not. Some of the stories are graphic and you may want to quit reading, but they represent reality for a huge percentage of women worldwide. Everyone: buy this book, read it, and pass it on to someone else to read.The Book was in great shape and I received it before it was supposed to be delivered. I was glad to have pick the right seller. Thanks ecampus.
Flag Review
Please provide a brief explanation for why you are flagging this review:
Your submission has been received. We will inspect this review as soon as possible. Thank you for your input!
Half the Sky: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

Write a Review