Danny Fisher, my friend and fellow Patheos blogger, has given a wonderful Dharma talk (above) on the plight of women in the world today and our responsibility for acting now to overcome it. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky, the talk has been making the rounds and was even mentioned on the book’s facebook and twitter accounts.
The central moral challenge of our time has reached a tipping point. Just as slavery was the defining struggle of the nineteenth century and totalitarianism that of the twentieth, the fight to end the oppression of women and girls worldwide defines ours. Embedded in the linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality (which still needlessly claims one woman every ninety seconds) is the single most vital opportunity of our time—and all over the world, women are seizing it. From Somaliland to Cambodia to Afghanistan, oppression is being confronted and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned—through health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls. Change is happening, and it’s happening now. – Half the Sky Movement(from the book) More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century, they write, detailing the rampant gendercide in the developing world, particularly in India and Pakistan. Far from merely making moral appeals, the authors posit that it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty if only a fraction of women (9% in Pakistan, for example) participate in the labor force. China’s meteoric rise was due to women’s economic empowerment: 80% of the factory workers in the Guangdong province are female; six of the 10 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese. – Publisher’s Weekly
Well done, Danny.
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.