Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Thoughts: Half the Sky

You know when you're reading a book and all of a sudden, something just clicks? And instantly, inexplicably, you've changed just a little bit, and maybe your life has switched around too? That's where I am.

I'm reading "Half the Sky," which is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors about women, oppression, development, and changing the world. It talks about something that I believe in 100%, which is that fighting the violence, oppression, and discrimination of girls and women is the single most important action we can take to help developing nations. And the best, most effective way of doing that? Getting and keeping girls in school. Give a girl a real education, and you've upped her family's income potential by a huge percentage, not to mention making her life and the lives of every single one of her children and grandchildren safer, stabler, and healthier.  Educating girls saves lives, and it also saves countries.

I'll spare you the sermon, but I have two major thoughts on the book at the moment (I'm not even a third of the way done, hah):

1. Read this book right now. It's fascinating, well-written, and tough to put down, despite the vague self-help look of the cover. Read it, and then pass your copy on to a friend -- it's that good, and that important.

2. I think this kind of stuff is what I want to do, ultimately. I'm not going to be too picky about employment upon return -- I know how precious a job is to a recent college grad -- but I think women's empowerment and development will be a driving force for me in the future.  I have lots of ideas floating around about how exactly that would work, and of course nothing really decided.

What I do know is this: I want to do something I care about with my life. And women's empowerment... I care a lot about that.

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