Half the Sky Documentary Reviewed

An image from the film, of a mother and her baby at the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital. Via PBS.

At the beginning of the month, PBS aired a four-hour film version of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in the United States. I read the book when it first came out in 2010 and examined its portrayal of female genital mutilation in Senegal for Muslimah Media Watch then. The documentary was heavily promoted by my local public radio and TV stations. Naturally, I made sure to have it turned on in the background while c … [Read more...]

“Report from a Pashtun Teen” in the New York Times

After reading Nicholas Kristof and Sheryll WuDunn’s Half the Sky earlier this year, I began to frequent Kristof’s blog at the New York Times website, “On the Ground.”  While I found parts of his book lacking in portraying some of the women’s own voices (there are places where women from the developing world are portrayed in the role of the “Other” to a dominant and paternalistic “Western World”), I admired his storytelling ability and emphasis on women’s empowerment.  I wanted to read more of his … [Read more...]

FGM in Kristof and WuDunn’s Half the Sky

After watching Moolaadé, I recalled that I had come across a story several months ago of how FGM is combated in Senegal in Kristof and WuDunn’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, released in 2009. Kristof and WuDunn devote the thirteenth chapter of the book (chapter: “Grassroots vs. Treetops”) to looking at an organization, Tostan, that works to “empower African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation” that has cont … [Read more...]


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