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Empowering Women Globally

Half The Sky Movement


“In the 19th Century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the 20th Century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world.”

- Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn in Half The Sky

Kirsten started Off The Sidelines in 2011 as a call to action to all women to get more involved in their communities and to make their voices heard on the issues they care about so that we can change the landscape of decisionmaking in this country and around the world. When we decided to do an Off The Sidelines book club, Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn was the first book we chose, in part, because it so perfectly epitomizes the spirit of Off The Sidelines.

From sex trafficking to genital mutilation, from honor killing to forced prostitution, Half The Sky takes an unflinching look at so many of the ways that women and girls are oppressed around the world every day, through the stories of many of the women who have suffered and survived these crimes and injustices — some of whom have escaped with their lives and have come out better on the other end, and some who have not. But Half The Sky is not content merely to document the injustice and oppression of women and girls around the world, rather it seeks to prescribe solutions and create a movement to really change the world, so that the women and girls who are oppressed today, will be empowered tomorrow.

So, what are some of the things you can do to help today? Here are some of the suggestions Half The Sky offers:

Go to www.globalgiving.org or www.kiva.org and open an account. Both sites are People to People, meaning that they link you directly to a person in need overseas…

Sponsor a girl or woman through Plan InternationalWomen For Women InternationalWorld Vision, orAmerican Jewish World Service

Sign up for e-mail updates on www.womensenews.org and a similar service, www.worldpulse.com. Both distribute information about abuses of women and sometimes advise on actions that readers can take…

Join the CARE Action Network at www.can.care.org …

We also urge you to learn more about the movement at www.HalfTheSkyMovement.org, buy the book and watch the acclaimed PBS documentary series based on the book. It’s our hope that you’ll be inspired to take action and raise your voice on behalf of all the women and girls around the world who aren’t yet empowered to do so for themselves.

You can watch Kirsten’s Off The Sidelines book club discussion about Half The Sky with author Sheryl WuDunn below:

*banner image via HalfTheSkyMovement.org