Being an American, it is so easy to take “independence” for granted. I just finished a book that came out last year, called Half the Sky. It’s about the oppression of women that is still occurring in other countries. I knew that this oppression still existed, but I had no idea to what extent. It was shocking to read about individual women’s stories…to say the least. Sex trafficking, death during childbirth, genital mutilation.
The authors offer some hope, of course. It’s not all gloom and doom. They provide the stories behind groups that are making a real difference (rather than policymakers…because half the time laws are not enforceable anyway). Many of the women profiled in the book were able to turn their life around, with the help of nonprofits dedicated to educating and assisting them.
If you haven’t read this book, you need to. And, as the authors suggest at the end of the book, visit these sites to learn how you can help:
“Are women human yet? If women were human, would we be a cash crop shipped from Thailand in containers to New York’s brothels…? Would our genitals be sliced out to ‘cleanse’ us….? When will women be human? When?”
—Catherine A. McKinnon, Are Women Human?