Thursday, August 26, 2010

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

I loved reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The title, Half the Sky comes from an ancient Chinese proverb that states “Women hold up half the sky.” The book travels the globe bringing to light areas where women are being oppressed, abused, tortured and killed. Heartbreaking and ungodly topics like genital cutting, honor killings, rape of virgins, sexual slavery, forced early marriages, sky rocketing maternal mortality rates, denied education for girls and international poverty pepper the pages. The authors search to find solutions and interview victims and community workers that are making a difference in each of these areas. Sadly, the authors do not see abortion as a form of oppression but see worldwide access to abortion as a way out of oppression for women.

Half the Sky was not a light summer read but yet I found it energizing and thought provoking. The passionate commitment of the workers interviewed reminded me of the dedicated workers in the field of pro-life and pregnancy center work. The workers are compassionate and strong, standing up to the ungodly norms of the culture and confronting others to break free of attitudes that oppress women.

If we as Christians are going to provide opportunities for women to move out of oppression in our American abortion culture we must welcome unplanned and unwanted offspring into our world. We must continue to advocate for those that say no to abortion and make the culturally radical decision to give birth on their own. If women hold up “half the sky,” it is their children that give them the strength to do it.

Be encouraged my brothers and sisters in the field for life for God will “make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:6

Linda Cochrane is author of Forgiven and Set Free and post-abortion recovery consultant for Care Net.


elise said...

Great post, Linda! Nick Kristof has long been one of my favorite journalists, and after reading your review I'm looking forward even more to picking up a copy of this book. I share your frustration that the authors fail to see abortion as an injustice against women - it is that viewpoint that demonstrates the great need to inspire a culture of life.