Monday, August 24, 2009

Mental Notes: Half of the sky


Today I had to write a really quick, short piece on women's role in society today.

Normally, I would choose to do interviews and take some time to do more research on a topic like this, but since it was for a blog, I had to skip all that and write off the top of my head.

How I wish I could have had the time to write something like this instead, and about better examples of women who without question, hold half of the sky.

Here's a much better article about women that I came across thanks to Frank Cimatu's posting on Facebook. It is an in-depth piece about the challenges women face today.


By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF and SHERYL WuDUNN (The New York Times)

IN THE 19TH CENTURY, the paramount moral challenge was slavery. In the 20th century, it was totalitarianism. In this century, it is the brutality inflicted on so many women and girls around the globe: sex trafficking, acid attacks, bride burnings and mass rape.

Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. “Women hold up half the sky,” in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos. There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That’s why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.

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