Maybe it's because I am the mother of three girls, or that I have sisters; or that I am a "girl" myself. Maybe it's my deepened love for humanity, our global family. Whatever the reason, I had a heck of a time getting through the introduction of "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. A knot in my stomach tightened with every statistic, words evaporated under a watery blur with each horrific example cited, and I am shakened to my very core.
I bought the book ages ago and true to my habit I immediately thumbed through the pages, devouring random snippets from the beginning, middle and last few pages. But my full attention to this read was on hold until I could finish the other three books I had in progress. another habit of mine
Women hold up half the sky. Chinese Proverb
Like a delectable dessert, Half the Sky sat in waiting for a time in which I could completely digest each juicy morsel. That time finally arrived. The statistics are astounding, unfathomable. The book is a testament to the global "gender-cide" against women in developing countries and the marginalization of women on our own continent and society: sex trafficking, rape as a weapon of war, abortion of female fetuses, violence, oppression, slavery and discrimination.
My hero Stephen Lewis has been bellowing this message for years now, heart outstretched, passion erupting from every podium, microphone and interview he has addressed. He has made it his life's work to not only get the word out about that which he knows to be true, and what he has personally witnessed, but also to get funds to the grassroots groups championing the causes, that lives may be saved and quality of life restored.
For the past few years I have had the time and clarity of purpose to explore and learn more about the challenges that face humanity. I involved myself and my chequebook in causes that I deemed to be important however I struggled to weave the threads into a cohesive mission for myself. I think I am on to something now ... the veil is lifting and I have a feeling it's going to be a girl thing.