half the sky

By robynjay On January 20th, 2010

cc licensed flickr photo shared by MC-Leprosy

‘Women hold up half the sky’
– Chinese Proverb

If you only read one book in 2010 please make it ‘Half the Sky‘ by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

They say…

“We wrote a book devoted to women in the developing world because if you want to fight poverty and extremism, you need to educate and empower women and bring them into the economy. ” “Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world’s women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world. We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity. Outsiders can truly make a difference.”

This is a devastatingly sad and hard hitting book that will open your eyes to the plight of women and girls around the world.

Follow Nicholas:

in Facebook
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via the ‘On the ground’ blog
and buy the book on Amazon

remembering martin luther king jr

By robynjay On January 19th, 2010

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday was MLK day and I’m commemorating his life and work by listening to his famous speech once again. This was 1963 and I was not quite 4 years old. We still have a long way to go to achieve King’s dream.

TED Talks has also republished the video. Their bio of King says

” Son of a Baptist minister, student of theology, adherent of Ghandi’s teachings and the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr. brought his supreme oratory skill and a visionary message of nonviolence to the fledgling African-American civil rights movement, leading it to historic influence. He spearheaded the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, spurring the United States Supreme Court to declare segregated busses unconstitutional, and the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to a gathering of supporters 200,000-strong.
In the early ’60s, King’s all-encompassing message — addressed to men and women of all different creeds — drew support from major leaders, among them President John F. Kennedy, and laypeople of every color. The youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (he accepted the award in 1964, at age 35), King is remembered for his unbending commitment to the improvement of the lives of all people, even as the stormy ’60s brought out leaders promoting more radical, separatist and militant ideology. His hopeful voice came to fill the hearts of millions, and still strongly resonates today, as citizens in America and elsewhere enjoy a world he envisioned but didn’t live to see: more equal, more whole. ”

King was assassinated in 1968.