How would I convey the over message of “Half the Sky” to friends? Well that is a great question.
The book talks about the oppression of woman in the modern age. It compares the way woman are treated today to the way African Americans were treated during slavery. It is a comparison that I have not thought of before. Initially, I thought to myself how these two could be related at all…women aren’t enslaved. However, after learning about what is happening to women in modern day… well I was pretty taken back to be honest.
One of the stories the book talks about is about a girl named Meera. This is one of the many stories that really convinced me that slavery is a real issue among women today. Merra is an Indian sex slave who got sold to a buyer when she was twelve. When I was twelve I was outside playing with my friends in a cozy suburban neighborhood in Massachusetts. Oh how fortunate I am. Meera faced the potential dangers such as HIV and STDs…. At age twelve. Even writing this post makes me a little sick to my stomach. The author mentions that around three million people “work” as prostitutes. Essentially, three million people work as slaves. That is what the author is hinting at. While prostitution is legal in some areas of the world, that does not mean that it is everyone’s choice to become a prostitute. To add on, the book talks about another girl named Prudence. Prudence was from Cameroon. She too was involved in sex slavery, and eventually became pregnant. This happens more frequently than one would like to think. To make things worse she did not have enough money to have a C-section. The authors covered it, but she ended up dying days later because the facility was not up to date and the conditions terrible. Even during her pregnancy, it is likely that Prudence would have been abused and also had to work. These are just two examples of the millions of people that suffer through being a sex slave.
Before reading this, I always thought of women’s issues as that – women’s issues, but it’s not. What is happening to these women across the glove is not a women’s issue, but a civil rights issue. It is time that the issue is treated as such. I feel as though some countries have it backwards…making prostitution legal. It just makes it harder to track down who is being forced and who is actually doing it by choice. I have to say I do not agree with that. Overall, I actually did not enjoy this topic. It found the material difficult to go through, and found it hard to grasp the reasoning behind the connection to globalization.