Over the weekend, from the recommendation/inspiration of two of my friends, I bought NYTimes writer Nicholas Kristof‘s new book, Half the Sky. It’s about empowering women in developing countries to turn oppression into opportunity; to open the world’s eyes to all the horrific sex trafficking, maternal mortality, poverty, and hunger that is ongoing overseas. His stories are all true. They come from the countless trips he has gone on, immersing himself in the reality, talking to victims, strangers, even warlords and brothel pimps. He brought back stories and wrote them for this book. Though the book is incredibly distressing, his message is not to be overwhelmed and burdened with these truths, but to realize that women – when given a chance – can rise from this oppression (or recover from it) and start profitable, healthy, save lives of their own for themselves and their families.
To be honest, I didn’t know about the severity of any of these issues. I didn’t realize that sex trafficking was actually happening to this extent. Young girls are taken away to brothels (against their will), beat, drugged, and forced to prostitute themselves to men, working sometimes 15 hours a day. Apparently there are over 1 million girls around the world forced into prostitution. 1 million?! I didn’t realize it was that bad. That’s why I’m sharing it with you today. To maybe open a few more eyes.
I’m really enjoying reading the book thus far. I’m sure you would too.