Half the Sky

Clara Fritzsche Library Co-sponsors "Half the Sky" Book Discussion

Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library will collaborate with the Beachwood Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library in sponsoring a book discussion of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The discussion group will be held at the Beachwood Public Library on June 21, in conjunction with the Maltz Museum’s current exhibit “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” which is co-sponsored by Notre Dame.

Written by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn, a former Times correspondent who works in finance and philanthropy, “Half the Sky” has been hailed as “brilliant and inspirational,” “a book that demands to be read,” and “a call to action.” It deals with three major abuses of women in the world which claim one woman a minute: sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape, and maternal mortality. The book lays out an agenda for change and transcendence over worldwide oppression through tapping into women’s power as economic catalysts.

In the words of an old Chinese saying, “women hold up half the sky.” However, in most parts of the world, women are uneducated, victimized and marginalized. Despite this, there is a growing realization that women are the solution, not the problem. Focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. Increasingly, foreign aid is being directed to women who funnel it into education and translate it into economic opportunity. The authors view their book as the inspiration for a movement and a call to volunteerism for its readers. For more information about this “Half the Sky Movement,” visit www.HalfTheSkyMovement.org.

The discussion group will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 21, at the Beachwood Public Library. The facilitator will be Notre Dame College Adjunct English Professor Maria Shine Stewart. In fall 2008, Stewart  moderated a series of “Tolerance Talks” sponsored by the College’s Tolerance Resource Center (now Abrahamic Center) focusing on Native American issues. 

The Beachwood Public Library has plenty of copies of “Half the Sky” available. Those interested in picking up the book and joining the discussion should call the library at 216.831.6868. You can also register on the Cuyahoga Country Library website.

For more information, contact Karen Zoller, director of the Clara Fritzsche Library, at kzoller@ndc.edu or 216.373.5267.