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4.8 out of 5 stars82
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2010
This is a wonderful book, many of the stories are very upsetting to read but,these stories are told alongside tales of inspiration. Women who against all the odds have pulled themselves out of their situation to make massive changes to their own lives and the world around them. I particularly enjoyed the fact that there were numerous practical suggestions on how you and I can make the world a better place. I have started sending this one to friends... it's definately worth a read and then passing it on.
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on 15 July 2010
Half the sky is brilliant. i read it in the space of 4 days because i just couldn't put it down. Nicholas Kristof fills this book with stories aout how trafficking is a major problem around the world. How can female pregnancy deaths are shockingly high? Why is the govt not doing anything about these problems? Can we abolish sex slavery? Can we abolish the high death rates for female pregnancy? What can you do to help? Seeming as there is hope because we managed to abolish black slavery!!!!
All these questions and many more are answered in this book:)
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on 1 December 2010
This book opened my eyes up to the issues surrounding female rights around the world, from honor killings, rapes to female genital mutilation. While I was researching on Female Genital Mutilation to deliver a presentation, my friend introduced me to this book which I promptly read from cover to cover. Whilst reading each story, I was filled with anger at the circumstances these women were in, but yet, often at the end of each story, there would be a silver lining, portraying how a woman's strength and courage can lift them up and away from undesirable circumstances. The selflessness and bravado of these women led me to examine my own life and what I can do to help out in the future, in whatever small way I can.

I was always interested in female issues but never found something which would stop me in the tracks of my everyday life and make me think this hard as to what I can do to contribute. This book did just that. If you are interested in female rights, maternal mortality, or simply, what actually goes on in countries less advanced in terms of female rights progression than ours, this book is well worth a read.
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on 15 October 2009
While this book is not a light read - it has some gut wrenching stories of suffering that, if they were about citizens of any Western nation, would make media headlines internationally - it is also hugely inspiring and upifting. What seems clear from these pages, which was echoed by Greg Mortenson in his wonderful "Three Cups of Tea", is that educating, empowering and supporting women and girls in the developing world is probably not only the right and moral thing to do, but also our best chance to counteract the growing worldwide culture of extremism and terrorism. This book is the most powerful call to arms I have come across in recent years!
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on 15 January 2015
I guess I have come to the Half The Sky book backwards as I have been an active member of Kiva for a couple of years, more recently joining their Half The Sky team as their goals matched my lending history. I was aware of the gist of the book and have now, finally, gotten around to reading it. The lovely people at ESPH, with whom I worked over the summer, gave me an Amazon voucher on leaving and that funded this book's purchase.
I'm not completely sure how I feel about Half The Sky now having read it. Its aims are obviously admirable and by appealing to such a wide audience and being bought in great numbers, its message will reach many people who might previously been unaware of the plight of many of our world's women. However, I felt a bit awkward at the patronising tone in some places. Written primarily for an affluent American audience, there is very much a 'them and us' feel to the writing. Abuses happen 'elsewhere' and the apparent importance and influence of American political decisions to life and death in other sovereign nations is unnerving. It reminded me of the power of the former British empire and of how many of our decisions were catastrophic to those on the receiving end. Also, the emotional manipulation throughout the text is phenomenal! At least the authors are upfront about this. They discuss how experiments have proved that individuals are more likely to donate, and to donate larger sums, to single named individual than to a country or a general appeal. (On reflection, this is also how Kiva works - by putting forward a series of individuals and their stories.) Before and after having made this point, that is exactly what the Half The Sky authors do. Don't expect much in the way of hard facts and figures, but instead there are dozens of anecdotes: stories of first-named women across Asia and Africa who were all horrifically treated, denied medical care, denied education, simply due to their gender. Reading so many tales is a bit like watching the serious bits of Children in Need or Comic Relief. You know you're being manipulated by clever research and editing, but there is a real need too and, by the end, you're pretty punch drunk and overwhelmed.
I am glad I have read Half The Sky. Similarly to The Rape of Nanking, its success is to get the world talking. It has reinforced my commitment to Kiva and I will now also be searching out other books on the topics raised.
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on 1 May 2013
even though I don't agree with everything the authors say the stories told and the way they were told made it an excellent read. this is not an easy-to-read book in the sense that it's not pleasant at all. most of the stories are really tragic and maybe disheartening. what I really liked is that each chapter is divided in 2: the first par tells the story and the reality. the second part tells you what you can do to change this situation by joining forces with someone else who is already helping out. so in the end, the reader, is not only informed but also encouraged to take action. I love the way the book was written and I think it's a must-read for everyone who wants to be an informed global citizen and make this world a better place for everyone.
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on 23 March 2011
I was gazing up at the Politics section of the bookshelf, not looking for anything in particular.
I think I was just passing through.
All these loud, overstated books kept shouting down at me, their covers so noisy and cynical, when an unassuming book whispered to me from the highest shelf.
"Half the Sky" confessed to know "How to change the world".
My shopping rule is: if I'm still thinking about something after 3 days, then I purchase it.
"Half the Sky's" gentle whisper never left my thoughts.
Be warned: you must be brave - it's a difficult journey. Authors Nicholas and Sheryl take you deep down into the most immoral and desperate part of human affliction, you'll cry, question and rage in the first few chapters of "Half the Sky" but keep reading, there is a beautiful, wonderfully wise and powerful conclusion that will inspire you into right action (it did me).

"Half the Sky" is the book that has finally given women all over the world, one united voice.
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on 15 September 2010
This is possibly the most important book I ve read in years. the other reviews document what it covers, but it impossible to convey how you become drawn in to a whole world of suffering and abuse, and yet at the same time the authors make sure you are not overwhelmed and made despairing by it. They enpower you to do something about the situation of women and children who are so badly treated, and show you how there is a practical way in which you can help and make a real difference.Read this book, pass it on, buy one for your friends.
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on 28 January 2015
How to Change the World? More like how to change your life. I have never read something so captivating, I've had to pace myself because I don't want it to end. Theres a part where Nick claims that we can listen to statistics about atrocities in the world but what really gets to us and makes us understand are individuals and their stories. I can only dream of being as strong, motivated and inspirational as half the women in this book. It has driven me to do moee with my life, for myself and others and try and change the way women are treat in the developing world. I can not stop talking about it yet I can barely conjure a sentence that could give this book justice, and I couldn't urge anyone enough to read it now. You'll be amazed.

I can only thank the one and only Sophia Bush for pointing me in the direction of this book.
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on 10 June 2011
This book had been on my wishlist for years, a must read, but honestly the cover put me off..I hate it when a book puts Hollywood names on the cover...it just doesnt work for me. But so glad I didnt judge this book by its cover!
This is a must for anyone thinking about studying anything in Development or womens studies, its a way of very simply being introduced to the importance of womens development in the world. Unfortunatly we dont live in an equal world, and there are still unthinkable crimes being commited and most of the time its the women who are made to endure them.
The book obviously touches the heart strings, but it also outlines case studies and what was done to help.
A good book...I hope it inspires more!
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