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Monday, September 14, 2009

Just to Share - Half the Sky

This book I know I am going to need to read. Nicolas Kristof presented at Games4Change in New York City this summer. Ray and I were fortunate to hear his keynote and I was able to speak with him afterward. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn have written a book entitled "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide". The title comes from an old Chinese proverb that says "women hold up half of the sky".

What I wish to share today is a link to a review in today's Huffington Post by Bill Gates Sr. But first to another book associated with the Gates' family.

This year I read the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book Gladwell investigates what factors bring about extraordinary individuals; what separates them from others of similar intelligences or cultural standings. In Gladwell's book Bill Gates Jr. is one of those case studies. Interestingly enough, Gladwell points to the importance of Gates' mother at creating opportunities that led to Gates' latter success. In the "Half the Sky" review, Gates Sr. also states about his first wife, "Mary Maxwell Gates, was a force of nature."

In the Huffington Post review, Gates Sr.'s acknowledges the important role of women economically: 
"What Nick and Sheryl have done is lay out a case for why empowering women in the developing world is both morally right and strategically imperative. Their essential message is that Lifting Women Lifts the World. I couldn't agree more."
Gates further states "when a man partners with a strong woman, everyone benefits". 

All of which is essentially the message of the UNFPA and what we are conveying to young men in our Empowering Play game project to end violence against women.

Here is a bit more of Gates' review of "Half the Sky"and a link to it:
"I don't normally do book reviews. However, because I'm a recent book author, a colleague sent me an advance copy of the manuscript for Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's new book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity Worldwide and suggested that some of the themes might be of interest to me.

It was. In fact, the book is stunning. Not because it's a compelling read, which it is. Not because it immediately leapt on to the bestseller list (as an author, I pay more attention to such things now). The book belongs on the "must-read" list because it offers perspective, insight, and clear-eyed optimism for why and how each of us can and should meet one of the great moral and humanitarian challenges of our times."

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